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Guidance for Schools

on Implementing the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act


(P.L.2010, c.122)

Christopher Cerf
Acting Commissioner of Education
David Hespe
Chief of Staff
Barbara Gantwerk
Assistant Commissioner
Division of Programs and Operations
Susan Martz
Director
Office of Student Support Services
Gary Vermeire
Coordinator, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Unit
Office of Student Support Services
New Jersey Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500
(609) 292-5935
December 2011
______________________________________________________________________________
Funds for the development of this publication were provided in full by a grant from the United States Department of
Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, under Title IV, Part A: The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and
Communities Act of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

______________________________________________________________________________

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

ARCELIO APONTE
President

Middlesex County

ILAN PLAWKER
Vice President

Bergen County

MARK W. BIEDRON

Hunterdon County

RONALD K. BUTCHER

Gloucester County

CLAIRE CHAMBERLAIN ECKERT

Somerset County

JACK A. FORNARO

Warren County

EDITHE FULTON

Ocean County

ROBERT P. HANEY

Monmouth County

ERNEST P. LEPORE

Hudson County

ANDREW J. MULVIHILL

Sussex County

J. PETER SIMON

Morris County

DOROTHY S. STRICKLAND

Essex County

Christopher Cerf, Acting Commissioner


Secretary, State Board of Education

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is grateful for the generous and professional
contributions of experts on the subject of bullying, school climate and culture and socialemotional and character development in the production of this Guidance for Schools on
Implementing the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act. The development of this publication was
guided by the authoritative input from the Office of Civil Rights and the members of two
advisory committees convened by the NJDOE:

Safe and Supportive Schools Advisory Committee (SSSAC), which was established to advise
the NJDOE on critical issues, including HIB, that affect students abilities to learn and grow
in safe, supportive and civil school environments; and
HIB Guidance Document Subcommittee, which was a subcommittee of the SSSAC,
assembled specifically to advise the NJDOE on this document, which was required pursuant
to N.J.S.A. 18A:37-24.
The NJDOE would like to thank the committee members for their input and feedback. The
committee members and their affiliations are provided below:
Carol Albritton
NJ Department of Education
Judy Alu
NJ Department of Education
Marie Barry
NJ Department of Education
Frank Basso
NJ Department of Education
Paula Bloom
NJ Department of Education
Richard Bozza
NJ Association
of School Administrators
Estelle Bronstein
NJ Department of Law and
Public Safety
Phil Brown
Rutgers University
Karen Campbell
NJ Department of Education
Joseph Campisi
Northfield Community
Elementary School
Edward Canzanese
Rosa International
Middle School

Jennifer Keyes-Maloney
NJ Principals and
Supervisors Association
Glenn Lang
Commission on Higher Education
Brad Lerman
Rutgers University
Sharon Lohrmann
University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey
Jim Lukach
NJ School Counselor Association
Joanne MacLennan
College of Saint Elizabeth
Barry Mascari
Kean University
Steve McGettigan
NJ School Boards Association
Jacqueline McGlade
College of Saint Elizabeth
David McNair
NJ Department of Education
Philip H. Meisner, Esq.
Office of Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson
Pat Mitchell
NJ Department of Education

Richard Cardillo
National School
Climate Center
Pam Castellanos
NJ Department of Education
Donna Chiera
American Federation of Teachers
of NJ
Eileen Dachnowicz
NJ Department of Education
Consultant
Ray Dinovi
Rowan University
Jay Doolan
NJ Principals and
Supervisors Association
Maurice Elias
Rutgers University
Sheila Engelbach
NJ Department of Education Consultant
Maryanne Evanko
NJ Department of Children
and Families
Carol Ferguson
Northfield School District
Patricia Fitzgerald
Colonia High School
Christina Gehringer
Washington Township Public Schools
Diane Genco
NJ School-Age
Care Coalition
Robert Gilmartin
NJ Department of Education
Steven Goldstein
Garden State Equality
Georgiann Gongora
Alliance for Social, Emotional
and Character Development
Stuart Green
NJ Coalition for Bullying
Donald Hallcom
NJ Department of Human Services

Paulette Moore Hines


University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey
Janet Nazif
Nonpublic School Advisory Council
Jacqueline Norris
The College of New Jersey
Mona Noyes
NJ Parents and Teachers Association
Melanie O'Dea
NJ Department of Education
Brendan O'Reilly
NJ Department of Education
Sharon Orosz
NJ Department of Education Consultant
Daniel Oscar
Princeton Center for Leadership Training
Joanmarie Penney
Memorial Middle School
Luanne M. Peterpaul
Peterpaul, Clark and Corcoran, P.C.
Regina Podhorin
The Leadership Group
Mary Reece
Foundation for Educational Administration
Sally Ruggiero
NJ Department of Education
Thomas Santo
Zane North Elementary School
Mayra Silva
Lincoln Middle School
Leisa Anne Smith
NJ State Bar Foundation
Mark Stanwood
Rowan University
Debra Stewart
NJ Department of Children and Families
Bill Tozier
Warren Township School District
Bill Trusheim
Pequannock School District
Lisa von Pier
NJ Department of Children and Families

Sol Heckelman
NJ Association of
School Psychologists
Kathleen Hoeker
Alan B. Shepherd High School
Mike Kaelber
NJ School Boards Association
Andrea Katz
Office of Assemblywoman
Valerie Vainieri Huttle

LaCoyya Weathington
Juvenile Justice Commission
Barbara Williams
Rowan University
Shondelle Wills-Bryce
NJ Department of Children and Families
Rich Wilson
NJ Education Association
Patricia Wright
Spring Lake School District

Special appreciation is extended to the following consultants who diligently assisted with the
facilitation of the subcommittee, conducted research on critical issues and drafted significant
portions of the guidance document:
Eileen Dachnowicz
Sheila Engelbach
Sharon Orosz
The NJDOE also thanks the following representatives of the NJDOE and other State agencies
who contributed to the development of portions of this publication:
Kathleen Duncan, Director, Office of Controversies and Disputes, NJDOE
Estelle Bronstein, Deputy Attorney General, Division on Civil Rights, New Jersey
Department of Law and Public Safety
Marie Hanley, Supervising Attorney, Appellate Division Clerks Office, Superior Court of
New Jersey

TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION

PAGE

INTRODUCTION
Purpose
Overview of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB)
Organization and Use of this Publication
CHAPTER 1:
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR AND BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBER BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION INFORMATION
HIB Responsibilities of School Administrators and Board of Education
Members
Requirements for HIB Prevention Programs, Approaches and Other Initiatives
Staff and Public HIB Reporting Requirements
Best Practices in Bullying Prevention
Best Practices in Bullying Intervention
Bibliography
CHAPTER 2:
ALL SCHOOL STAFF - BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION
INFORMATION
HIB Responsibilities Involving School Staff
Best Practices for Staff in Bullying Prevention
Best Practices for Staff in Bullying Intervention
Best Practices for School Staff in Correcting HIB
Bibliography
CHAPTER 3:
PETITIONING THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION TO HEAR AND
DECIDE DISPUTES CONCERNING N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13 ET SEQ.
CHAPTER 4:
APPEALING FINAL COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION DECISIONS TO
THE APPELLATE DIVISION OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW
JERSEY
CHAPTER 5:
THE DIVISION ON CIVIL RIGHTS: JURISDICTION AND SERVICES
REGARDING HIB
CHAPTER 6:
RESOURCES ON BULLYING

1-5
1
2-4
4-5

6-36
6-11
11-14
14-15
16-23
24-33
33-36

37-53
37-39
40-43
44-46
47-50
51-53

54-57

58-60

61-66
67-79

INTRODUCTION
Purpose
On January 5, 2011, the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (P.L.2010, c.122, which can be found at
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/PL10/122_.PDF) was signed into law to strengthen the
standards and procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating and responding to incidents of
harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) of students that occur on school grounds* and off
school grounds under specified circumstances. The law was adopted, in part, in response to
research on the incidence, prevalence and effects of HIB that has emerged since the adoption of
the original HIB law in 2002.
Under the Anti-bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR), the New Jersey Department of Education
(NJDOE) was required to issue guidance for use by parents**, students and school staff in
resolving complaints concerning HIB and for the implementation of the ABR (N.J.S.A. 18A:3724). In support of this requirement, this publication has been developed for the following
purposes:
To explain the obligations of school districts and charter schools under the ABR;
To provide information on best practices for the prevention, intervention and remediation of
HIB in schools, including methods for identifying or assisting student populations at high
risk for HIB;
To explain the procedures for petitioning the Commissioner of Education to hear and decide
disputes concerning the ABR;
To explain the jurisdiction of the Division of Civil Rights, New Jersey Department of Law
and Public Safety in regard to specific types of HIB; and
To explain the process for appealing final agency determinations to the Appellate Division of
the Superior Court.
Additionally, the NJDOE was required to amend its pre-existing model policy and guidance to
reflect the provisions in the ABR. This document, titled Model Policy and Guidance for
Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying on School Property, at School-Sponsored
Functions and on School Buses, can be found at the following Website:
http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/bully.htm.
_________________________
* Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.3, school grounds means and includes land, portions of land,
structures, buildings, and vehicles, when used for the provision of academic or extracurricular programs
sponsored by the school district or community provider and structures that support these buildings, such
as school district wastewater treatment facilities, generating facilities, and other central service facilities
including, but not limited to, kitchens and maintenance shops. School grounds also includes other
facilities as defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:26-1.2, playgrounds, and recreational places owned by local
municipalities, private entities or other individuals during those times when the school district has
exclusive use of a portion of such land.
**Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-1.3, "parent" means the natural parent(s) or adoptive parent(s), legal
guardian(s), foster parent(s) or parent surrogate(s) of a student. Where parents are separated or
divorced, "parent" means the person or agency who has legal custody of the student, as well as the
natural or adoptive parent(s) of the student, provided such parental rights have not been terminated by a
court of appropriate jurisdiction.
1

Overview of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB)


Definition of HIB
The definition of HIB that applies to the use of this guidance is established at N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14
and is provided below. It is important to note that while the statutory definition of HIB might
vary from definitions of bullying provided by program professionals, schools are responsible for
the HIB definition at N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14.
The HIB definition below has been separated into component parts for ease of reading and
comprehension. Bold type has been added to emphasize selected provisions.
HIB Definition
HIB means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication,
whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that:
Is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by an actual or perceived
characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual
orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by
any other distinguishing characteristic;
Takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus; or off
school grounds, as provided for in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15.3,
Substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of
other students; and that
A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of
physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the students property, or
placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or
damage to his property; or
Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or
Creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a students
education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.
HIB Off School Grounds
School districts continue to have the right, but are not required, to impose consequences on a
student for conduct away from school grounds consistent with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.7, Conduct
away from school grounds. The only change in this authority resulting from the ABR is that
schools are now required to address HIB occurring off school grounds, when there is a nexus
between the HIB and the school (i.e., the HIB substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly
operation of the school or the rights of other students).
Seriousness of the Bullying Problem
As documented in the Commissioners Annual Report to the Education Committees of the Senate
and General Assembly on Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Public
Schools (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009), bullying generally begins in the elementary grades,
peaks in grades six through eight, and persists, with decreasing frequency, throughout high
school. Some statistics on bullying follow (Ericson, 2001):
30% of students in grades six through ten in the United States are involved in moderate or
frequent bullying either as bullies, as victims, or as both.
1 out of 5 youth admit to being a bully or doing some bullying.
2

43% of the students surveyed fear harassment in the bathroom at school.


In a recent survey, 77% of the students said they had been bullied and 14% said they
experienced severe (bad) reactions to the abuse.
8% of students miss 1 day of class per month for fear of bullies.
Every 7 minutes a child is bullied on the playground, 4% of the time there is adult
intervention; 11% of the time there is peer intervention; and 85% of the time there is no
intervention.

Conflict vs. Bullying Bullying is not a phase young people must endure or outgrow. Bullying
is not a conflict between students or among groups of students. Conflict is a mutually
competitive or opposing action or engagement, including a disagreement, an argument or a fight
which is a normal part of human development. Bullying is one-sided, where one or more
students are victims of one or more persons aggression, which is intended to physically or
emotionally hurt the victim(s).
There generally are four types of bullying behaviors. These behaviors and some examples are
identified below:
Verbal Includes taunting, name calling, malicious teasing or making threats (U.S.
Department of Justice, 2001);
Psychological Includes spreading rumors, purposefully excluding people from activities,
breaking up friendships (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001);
Physical Includes hitting, punching, shoving, spitting or taking personal belongings (U.S.
Department of Justice, 2001); and
Cyberbullying Includes using the Internet, mobile phone or other digital technologies to
harm others. (DuPage County Anti-Bullying Model Policy and Best Practices, 2011).
The effects of these bullying behaviors on students include:
Serious psychological and behavioral effects manifested in low self-esteem, anxiety,
depression, suicide, violence and criminal behavior;
Physical problems such as headaches, dizziness and stomachaches; or
Poor grades (Olweus, 1994).
Feeling safe in schools powerfully promotes student learning and healthy development (Devine
and Cohen, 2007). Bullying, which is a serious impediment to school safety, negatively affects
the atmosphere of a school and disrupts the learning environment in the following ways:
Student achievement suffers among the bullied and those who engage in bullying
(http://www.stopbullying.gov);
Student absenteeism increases. In a national survey, 30% of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and
transgender (LGBT) students reported missing at least one day of school in the past month
compared to 8.0% for the general student population (GLSEN, 2009);
Teacher morale declines when social dynamics in the classroom interfere with instruction
and discipline and contribute to increased employee absences (http://www.stopbullying.gov);
Adult-student relationships suffer. Students who witness bullying can become fearful and
develop the belief that the adults are not in control or are uncaring
(http://www.stopbullying.gov); or

Parent confidence and trust in the school erodes when students experience bullying or are
accused of bullying others (http://www.stopbullying.gov).

Additionally, some students or groups of students are at higher risk for bullying than the general
student population.
Appearance The way a student looks or his or her body size and sexual orientation are the
top two reasons cited for frequent harassment (GLSEN, 2009).
Two-thirds of teens report they have been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted during
the past year because of their perceived or actual appearance, gender, sexual orientation,
gender expression, race/ethnicity, disability or religion (GLSEN, 2009).
Children with special needs are especially vulnerable to bullying. A 2008 study in Britain
found that 60% of students with disabilities reported being bullied compared to 25% of the
general student population. All of the studies conducted in the United States found that
children with disabilities were two to three times more likely to be the victims of bullying
and that the bullying experienced by these children was more chronic in nature and directly
related to their disability (http://www.abilitypath.org).
One study found that children with physical conditions or disabilities, such as cerebral palsy
and Downs syndrome, are more likely to be called names or aggressively excluded from
social activities (Olweus, 1994).
The results of a 2009 National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and
Straight Education Network (GLSEN) indicated that 84.6% of LGBT students reported being
verbally harassed; 18.8% of LGBT students reported being physically assaulted at school
because of their sexual orientation; 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at
school in the past year; and nearly two-thirds of LGBT students felt unsafe because of their
sexual orientation (GLSEN, 2009).
24% of the Asian students participating in a Preventing School Harassment Survey
conducted in California reported harassment due to race, as compared with 22% of Latino
students surveyed; 22% of multiracial students; and 13% of Black students (California Safe
Schools Research, retrieved 2011).
Overweight children are 1.2 times more likely to be bullied than their normal weight peers
(Harrison, 2010).
Obese children are 1.6 times more likely to be bullied than their non-obese peers, regardless
of sex, race or socioeconomic status (Harrison, 2010).
Organization and Use of this Publication
This document contains six chapters. The first two chapters provide role-specific information on
the topic of HIB for each of the following audiences:
School administrators (e.g., superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, assistant
principals, supervisors, coordinators, charter school lead persons), board of education
members and other school leaders; and
School staff (e.g., full- and part-time staff, including teachers, student support services,
volunteers and contracted service providers who have significant contact with students,
administrative support).

Each of the first two chapters contains information devoted to the topics of prevention,
intervention and remediation, which include both legal requirements and suggested best
practices. A bibliography is provided at the end of each of these chapters.
Chapters three through five provide information on the following subjects:
Appealing local board of education decisions or school district actions to the Commissioner
of Education;
Appealing Commissioner of Education determinations to the Appellate Division of the
Superior Court; and
The jurisdiction and services of the Division on Civil Rights (DCR), New Jersey Department
of Law and Public Safety in regard to specific types of HIB.
Chapter six contains a variety of resources for the prevention and intervention of bullying. The
resources include books, articles, Web resources for policy and program development, including
evidence-based program data bases, assessment tools and organizations.
Throughout the document the terms harassment, intimidation and bullying, and HIB are used
interchangeably to refer to the requirements in the ABR as they pertain to the HIB definition in
N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14, which is provided above. The term bullying is used to refer to general
information on this subject and is not limited to the HIB definition in the ABR.
Although this publication and other materials developed by the NJDOE are intended to provide
assistance to districts on their responsibilities under the ABR, local boards of education are
responsible for implementing the ABR. When questions arise regarding the ABR, school
officials should consult, as appropriate, their board of educations policies and procedures, the
school attorney or local law enforcement officials, per the Memorandum of Agreement between
Education and Law Enforcement Officials (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6.2(b)13) (see
http://www.state.nj.us/education/schools/security/regs/agree.pdf).

CHAPTER 1
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR AND BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBER BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION INFORMATION
HIB RESPONSIBILITIES OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND BOARD OF
EDUCATION MEMBERS
The intent of P.L. 2010, c.122 is to strengthen standards and procedures for preventing,
reporting, investigating and responding to HIB incidents of students in school and off school
premises. This section summarizes the administrative duties that pertain to the HIB prevention
provisions in the ABR.
Following each requirement is a letter (i.e., S for superintendent; P for Principal; and B for board
of education) indicating the official(s) responsible for the requirement or who have a role in
implementing the requirement. Unless specifically noted otherwise, the term school
administrators refers to superintendents, charter school lead persons and principals. The term
school leader means a school district staff member who holds a position that requires
possession of a chief school administrator, principal or supervisor endorsement.
HIB Policies and Procedures
HIB policies and procedures are an important component of a comprehensive HIB prevention
program. The board of educations policies and procedures provide a unified framework for
expected student behavior and expected staff roles for implementing the policies, including the
promotion of positive behaviors and the prevention of unwanted behaviors. An effective policy
provides a foundation upon which more detailed actions and plans can be built.
Policy Development
Each district board of education is required to adopt a policy prohibiting HIB, as defined above
and in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14, on school grounds, at a school-sponsored function or on a school bus.
Some key points on the development of the HIB policy follow:
The policy must be developed using a process that includes representation from parents,
students, school district and school staff and administrators, volunteers who have significant
contact with students and community representatives. (B, S)
The due date for submission of the first revised HIB policy to the executive county
superintendent was September 1, 2011. (S)
Each subsequent HIB policy revision must be submitted to the executive county
superintendent within 30 days of adoption by the board of education. (B, S)
Boards of education are permitted to adopt a policy that includes components and contents
that are more stringent than the minimum required components. (B, S).
The NJDOE, as required in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15d, has developed a document titled Model
Policy and Guidance for Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying on School
Property, at School-Sponsored Functions and on School Buses to aide in the development of
local policies and procedures, which can be found at
http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/bully.htm. The NJDOE also has developed the
Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Compliance Checklist to assist in determining
compliance with the HIB policy and other requirements under the ABR. The checklist can be
found at http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/checklist.pdf.
6

Policy Contents
The board of education has control over the content of the HIB policy. However, the policy must
contain, at a minimum, the following components (B, S):
A statement prohibiting HIB of a student.
A definition of HIB that is no less inclusive than the HIB definition provided above and in
N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14.
A description of the type of behavior that is expected from each student.
o The ABR addresses HIB committed only against students; it does not address HIB
committed against adults.
The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who commits HIB.
o While the ABR only addresses HIB committed against students, it includes any person
who commits an act of HIB against a student.
o Under the ABR, HIB has been added to N.J.S.A. 18A:37-2 as a cause for suspension or
expulsion of a student.
A Procedure for reporting HIB.
o All acts of HIB must be reported verbally to the principal on the same day when the
school employee or contracted service provider witnessed or received reliable
information regarding any such incident.
o The principal must inform the parents of all students involved in the alleged incident, and
may discuss, as appropriate, the availability of counseling and other intervention services.
o All acts of HIB must be reported in writing within two days of the verbal report (the day
the incident was witnessed or information about the incident was received).
o The procedure must include a provision permitting a person to anonymously report an act
of HIB; however, this must not be construed to permit formal disciplinary action solely
on the basis of an anonymous report.
A procedure for prompt investigation of reports of violations and complaints which either
identify bullying or describe behaviors that indicate bullying, and that adhere to following
actions and timelines identified below.
o One school day after receiving the report of the incident, the principal or the principals
designee must initiate an investigation of the incident, which must be conducted by a
school anti-bullying specialist in coordination with the principal.
o The principal may appoint other school staff to help with the investigation.
o The principal implements the HIB policy or the code of student conduct at any point in
time there is sufficient information to invoke the provisions of either of these policies.
o The investigation must be completed no later than 10 school days from the date of the
written report of the incident.
o The investigation report can be amended to include new information received by the
school anti-bullying specialist after the 10-day period.
The results of the investigation must be reported to the chief school administrator (CSA) in
accordance with the following parameters:
o The report must be submitted to the CSA within two school days of completion of the
investigation.
The CSA may decide to provide intervention services, establish training programs to
reduce HIB and enhance school climate, impose discipline, order counseling as a result of

the findings of the investigation, or take or recommend other appropriate action.

o No later than the date of the board of education meeting following the completion of the
investigation, the CSA must report the results of the investigation to the board of
education, along with information on any services provided, training established,
discipline imposed or other action taken or recommended by the CSA.
o Within five school days of the results of the investigation being reported to the board,
parents of involved student offenders and victims must be provided with information
about the investigation. However, the parents are not entitled to view the investigation
report or any information that would violate student records and student privacy laws and
regulations. The information provided to the parents must include:
The nature of the investigation;
Whether the district found evidence of HIB; and
Whether discipline was imposed or services provided to address the HIB incident.
o After receiving the information about the investigation, a parent may request a hearing
before the board of education.
o Within 10 school days of a parent requesting a hearing before the board, the board must
meet in executive session to review the matter.
The board may hear from the school anti-bullying specialist or anyone else regarding
the incident, recommendations for discipline or services and any programs instituted
to reduce HIB incidents.
o At the next board meeting following receipt of the CSAs report on the results of the
investigation, the board must issue a written decision affirming, rejecting or modifying
the CSAs decision.
o No later than 90 days after issuance of the boards decision, the decision may be appealed
to the Commissioner of Education.
o Within 180 days of the occurrence of an HIB incident based on membership in a group
enumerated in the Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq.) a parent,
student or organization may file a complaint with the Division of Civil Rights.
The range of ways in which a school will respond once an HIB incident is identified, which
must include an appropriate combination of counseling, support services, intervention
services and other programs.
A statement that prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act
of HIB, and the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in
reprisal or retaliation.
The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely
accused another as a means of retaliation or as a means of HIB.
A statement of how the policy is to be publicized, including notice that the policy
applies to participation in school-sponsored functions.
A requirement that a link to the policy be prominently posted on the home page of the
school district's Website and distributed annually to parents who have children enrolled in a
school in the school district.
A requirement that the district anti-bullying coordinators name, school phone number,
school address and school email address be listed on the home page of the districts website
and that the school anti-bullying specialists and the district anti-bullying coordinators

names, school phone numbers, school addresses and school email addresses of the be listed
on each schools Website.
Additional requirements regarding the HIB policy follow (B, S):
The first revised policy following the effective date of N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13 was required to be
transmitted to the executive county superintendent of schools by September 1, 2011.
Any subsequent revision to the board of educations HIB policy must be transmitted to the
executive county superintendent of schools within 30 days of adoption by the board.
The school district must annually conduct a re-evaluation, reassessment and review of the
HIB policy and make any necessary revisions and additions.
The board of education must include input from the school anti-bullying specialist(s) in the
re-evaluation, reassessment and review.
Notice of the HIB policy must appear in any publication of the district that sets forth the
comprehensive rules, procedures and standards of conduct for schools within the district,
including in any student handbook.
Nothing in P.L.2010, c.122 may be construed as prohibiting a school district from adopting a
policy that includes components that are more stringent than the policy components
identified above and in N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15.
Roles and Responsibilities
The ABR establishes new roles and responsibilities for central office and school staff. These
requirements are described below:
District Anti-Bullying Coordinator The CSA is required to appoint a district anti-bullying
coordinator (ABC). The CSA is encouraged, but not required, to appoint a school district
employee to perform the ABC role. The responsibilities of the ABC include the following:
(S)
o Coordinating and strengthening the school districts policies to prevent, identify and
address HIB of students;
o Collaborating with the ABS in the school district, the BOE and the CSA to prevent,
identify and respond to HIB of students in the school district;
o In collaboration with CSA, providing data to the NJDOE regarding HIB of students;
o Executing other duties related to school HIB as requested by the CSA; and
o Meeting, at a minimum, twice each school year with the ABSs in the district to discuss
and strengthen procedures and policies to prevent, identify and address HIB in the school
district.
School Anti-Bullying Specialist The principal in each school is required to appoint a
School Anti-Bullying Specialist (ABS). The ABS must be a: (P)
o Guidance counselor;
o School psychologist; or
o Other certified staff member trained to be the ABS from among the currently employed
certified staff in the school.
Since the principal is the one who must appoint school staff to this role, the legislative
language and intent is for the ABS to be someone other than a school administrator (e.g.,
someone with a student support services or student advocacy point of view and function) to
counter-balance the administrative, including disciplinary, point of view. The principal must
9

serve on the school safety team (described below) and the ABS is required to chair the team;
therefore, the aim is for the ABS to have this leadership role, rather than the principal. This
same dynamic exists in other areas of the law (e.g., the ABS acts as the primary person for
preventing, identifying and addressing HIB; the ABS leads HIB investigations in
consultation with the principal), which requires someone other than the school administrator
to perform these functions. Additionally, there is nothing in the law that would preclude the
principal from appointing more than one ABS from currently employed school staff. (P)
o The responsibilities of the ABS include the following:
Chairing the school safety team;
Leading the investigation of HIB incidents in the school; and
Acting as the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying and
addressing HIB incidents in the school.

School Safety Team A school safety team (SST) must be formed in each school in the
school district. The team must be called either the school safety team or the school antibullying team to ensure ease of identification by parents, students and staff throughout the
state. The purposes of the team is to develop, foster and maintain a positive school climate by
focusing on the ongoing, systematic operational procedures and educational practices in the
school and to address issues, such as HIB, that affect school climate and culture. (P, S) The
SST must consist of the following members:
o The principal or his or her designee who, when possible, is a senior administrator in the
school, and the following appointees of the principal
o A teacher in the school;
o An ABS;
o A parent of a student in the school; and
o Other members as determined by the principal.
The responsibilities of the SST include the following:
o Receiving records of all complaints of HIB of students that have been reported to the
principal*;
o Receiving copies of all reports prepared after an investigation of an HIB incident*;
o Identifying and addressing patterns of HIB of students in the school*;
o Reviewing and strengthening school climate and the policies of the school in order to
prevent HIB of students;
o Educating the community, including students, teachers, administrative staff and parents,
to prevent and address HIB of students;
o Participating in the training required under the ABR and other training which the
principal or the ABC may request. Additionally, the SST must be provided professional
development opportunities that may address effective practices of successful school
climate programs or approaches;
o Meeting, at a minimum, twice each school year; and
o Executing other duties related to HIB as requested by the principal or ABC.

*A parent who is a member of the SST is not permitted to participate in the first three activities identified
above or in any other activities of the team which may compromise the confidentiality of a student,
consistent with, at a minimum, the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20
10

U.S.C. 1232g and 34 CFR Part 99), N.J.A.C. 6A:32-7, Student Records and N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.9, Student
records.

Reprisal, Retaliation or False Accusation The ABR stipulates that a member of the board of
education, school employee, student or volunteer is not permitted to engage in reprisal,
retaliation or false accusation against a victim, witness or one with reliable information about
an act of HIB. (S, P, B)
Immunity A BOE member or school employee who promptly reports an HIB incident to
the principal or to any school administrator or safe schools resource officer and who makes
the report in compliance with the BOEs policies and procedures is immune from a cause of
action for damages arising from any failure to remedy the reported incident.
Disciplinary Action for School Administrators A school administrator who receives a
report of HIB from a school district employee and fails to initiate or have an investigation
conducted, or who should have known of an HIB incident and fails to take sufficient action
to minimize or eliminate the HIB may be subject to disciplinary action.

REQUIREMENTS FOR HIB PREVENTION PROGRAMS, APPROACHES


AND OTHER INITIATIVES
The overarching goal of the ABR is to develop and sustain safe and civil school environments in
which HIB does not occur. Consistent with this goal, the ABR establishes the following
requirements to support the school districts overall HIB prevention program.
HIB Prevention Programs
Central office and school building staff must annually establish, implement, document and assess
the programs, approaches or other initiatives used to prevent HIB of students. School staff,
students, administrators, volunteers, law enforcement officials, parents and other community
members must be involved in these annual activities. The SST has a role in the annual review,
under its responsibility to develop, foster and maintain a positive school climate by focusing on
the ongoing systemic process and practices in the school and addressing school climate issues,
such as HIB.
The programs, approaches or other initiatives must be designed to create school-wide conditions
to prevent and intervene with HIB of students. Schools are encouraged to use existing evidencebased programs. A searchable data base to help identify evidence-based HIB prevention and
intervention programs can be found at the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-based
Programs (http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/). However, schools may use other approaches or initiatives
as part of their comprehensive HIB prevention efforts, but should ensure there is a means for
collecting and assessing data on the effectiveness of the approaches or initiatives to be considered in
the annual review. These data also should be collected for any evidence-based programs
implemented by schools in the district. (S, P)
HIB Instruction In accordance with the core curriculum content standards, each school district
must provide ongoing age-appropriate instruction on preventing HIB throughout the school year.
(B,S, P)

11

Professional Development and Training


The ABR includes professional development requirements for BOE members, school leaders
(i.e., a school district staff member who holds a position that requires the possession of a CSA,
principal or supervisor endorsement), educational staff and other school employees, volunteers
and contracted service providers who have significant contact with students and prospective
educators. These requirements are summarized below:
Board of Education Members Each newly elected or appointed BOE member must
complete, during the first year of the members first term, an HIB training program offered
by the New Jersey School Boards Association. (B)
School Leaders The training required to be taken by school leaders under N.J.S.A. 18A:268.2 and the Professional Standards for Teachers and School Leaders must include
information on the prevention of HIB. The NJDOEs guidance can be found at
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/HIBGuidancePD.pdf. (S, P)
District Anti-Bullying Coordinators (ABC) and School Anti-Bullying Specialists (ABS)
Each BOE must provide time during the usual school schedule to ensure that appropriate
staff are prepared to act in the school district as ABCs and ABSs. (B, S, P)
School Safety Team (SST) The members of the SST must participate in the in-service
training provided by the district and other training as requested by the principal or the ABC.
o The SST members must be provided with professional development opportunities that
address effective school climate improvement practices, programs or approaches. (B, S,
P)
Existing School Employees, Volunteers and Contractors All school staff, including
administrators, instructors, student support services, administrative/office support,
transportation, food service facilities/maintenance, volunteers who have significant contact
with students and persons contracted by the district to provide services to students, must be
provided with training on the BOEs HIB policies.
o The training must include instruction on preventing HIB on the basis of the protected
categories identified in the definition of HIB provided in this document and as
established at N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14 and other distinguishing characteristics that may incite
incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying.
o The NJDOEs training PowerPoint resources can be used to assist with local in-service
programs; however, the use of these materials is not sufficient to fulfill the in-service
training requirements regarding local policies and protected groups (see
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/overview.shtml). (B, S, P)
New Full- and Part-time Employees, Volunteers and Contractors Information on the
BOEs HIB policies must be incorporated into the school districts or schools employee
training program and delivered to all full-time and part-time staff, volunteers who have
significant contact with students and persons contracted by the district to provide services to
students. (B, S, P)
Teachers and Educational Services Professionals In addition to the in-service training
described above, these staff must have the following training within the five-year
professional development cycle. The NJDOEs guidance on this requirement can be found at
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/HIBGuidancePD.pdf.
(B, S, P)
o HIB Prevention Two hours of instruction in HIB prevention.

12

o Suicide Prevention In addition, the pre-existing suicide prevention professional


development requirement must include an HIB component which includes information on
the risk of suicide and HIB incidents and information on reducing the risk of suicide in
students who are members of communities identified as having members at high risk of
suicide.
Teacher Certification Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, all candidates for
teaching certification who have completed a teacher preparation program at a regionally
accredited institution of higher education must have satisfactorily completed a program on
HIB prevention. Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, any person seeking certification
through the alternate route must, within one year of being employed, satisfactorily complete
a program on HIB prevention. The NJDOEs guidance on this requirement can be found at
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/HIBGuidanceEdPrep.pdf.

HIB Policy Discussions with Students


Each school district must develop a process for annually discussing the HIB policy with students.
In planning these discussions, districts are encouraged to give consideration to the following
suggestions: (B, S, P)
Organize small-group discussions as opposed to large-group presentations;
Plan discussions that are age appropriate;
Couple the discussions with activities that build HIB prevention skills; and
Provide opportunities for follow-up and processing of information presented to provide
opportunities for questions, reinforcement of information or skills and to ensure
understanding.
Week of Respect
Each school district is required to annually observe a Week of Respect, during which time
districts must provide age-appropriate instruction focusing on preventing HIB. The Week of
Respect must be observed during the week beginning with the first Monday in October of each
year. Resources in support of the Week of Respect can be found at
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/violence_memo.pdf. (S, P)
Internet Information
The following Website information must be posted as specified below: (S)
School District Website The home page of each school districts Website must list the
following contact information for the ABC
o Name;
o School phone number;
o School address; and
o School email address.

School Websites The home page of each schools Website must list the following contact
information for both the ABC and the ABS (P)
o Name;
o School phone number;
o School address; and
o School email address.
13

Bullying Prevention Fund


Although this account has been established in the NJDOE to carry out the provisions of the
ABR, there are no funds in the account at the publication of this document.
STAFF AND PUBLIC HIB REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The ABR includes requirements for staff reporting and public reporting of HIB and related
information. The requirements for these reports are described below:
Obligation to Report
All school employees observing or having direct knowledge from a participant or a
victim of an act of violence, including HIB, must file a report describing the incident to the
school principal in a manner prescribed by the commissioner. The principal is required to
provide a copy of the report to the CSA and notify the CSA of the action(s) taken for each
incident. (S, P)
Bi-Annual Public Reports
Two times each school year (between September 1 and January 1, and between January 1 to June
30), the CSA must report to the BOE, at a public hearing, all acts of violence, vandalism and
HIB which occurred during the previous reporting period. The reports must include the following
information: (S, B)
The number of reports of HIB;
The status of all HIB investigations;
The nature of the HIB based on the protected categories identified in N.J.S.A.18A:37-14;
The names of the investigators;
The type and nature of any discipline imposed on any student engaged in HIB; and
Any other measures imposed, training conducted or programs implemented to reduce HIB.
Report Card
The report cards issued by the NJDOE, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7E-3, will include data
identifying the number and nature of all reports of HIB. These data will be collected through
existing reporting systems. (S)
The Relationship of Hazing to HIB
As described in the Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement
Officials (MOA), which establishes the foundation for cooperative relationships between school
and law enforcement officials (required under N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6.2(b)13; the MOA can be found
at http://www.state.nj.us/education/schools/security/regs/agree.pdf), hazing may be considered to
be HIB (see the description of hazing below). While bullying is not a separately defined offense
under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, the conduct that constitutes bullying frequently
constitutes one or more criminal or disorderly persons offenses. Common bullying offenses
include assault, harassment, threats, robbery and sexual offenses. The MOA establishes that the
school district must report to law enforcement officials any hazing incident that involves a
criminal offense, and reminds school officials that hazing which involves the participation of a
coach or a teacher may constitute child abuse in some circumstances.

14

Hazing, as is the case with HIB, is a behavior that is inconsistent with the development and
promotion of a positive school climate. New Jersey schools might consider addressing hazing on
school grounds, at school-sponsored functions, and on school buses as part of their codes of
student conduct. School districts also may wish to consider addressing hazing behavior that
occurs away from school grounds, consistent with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6.
Hazing
Hazing is a process, based on tradition that is used by groups to maintain a hierarchy (i.e., a
pecking order) within the group. Regardless of consent, the rituals require individuals to engage
in activities that are physically and psychologically stressful. These activities can be humiliating,
demeaning, intimidating and exhausting, all of which results in physical or emotional discomfort.
Hazing involves group dynamics and proving ones worthiness to become a member of a specific
group. The newcomer, or victim, is hazed. Once accepted by the group, the victim becomes a
bystander and watches others get hazed. Eventually the bystander typically achieves senior status
and power, and becomes a perpetrator of hazing (Lipkins, 2006).
The statutory definition of hazing in New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 2C:40-3) is provided below:
a. A person is guilty of hazing, a disorderly persons offense, if, in connection with initiation
of applicants to or members of a student or fraternal organization, he knowingly or
recklessly organizes, promotes, facilitates or engages in any conduct, other than competitive
athletic events, which places or may place another person in danger of bodily injury.
b. A person is guilty of aggravated hazing, a crime of the fourth degree, if he commits an act
prohibited in subsection a. which results in serious bodily injury to another person.
The hazing statute also establishes the following:
Notwithstanding any other provision of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes to the contrary,
consent shall not be available as a defense to a prosecution under this Act.
Hazing is a separate offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-3. Hazing is a disorderly persons offense
when the conduct, other than competitive athletic events, may place another person in
danger of bodily injury. When serious bodily injury results, the offense is aggravated hazing,
which is a crime of the fourth degree. The consent of the person hazed is not a defense.
N.J.S.A. 2C:40-4. Any other criminal conduct under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice
also may be charged. N.J.S.A. 2C:40-5.

15

BEST PRACTICES IN BULLYING PREVENTION


During the last twenty years, research studies have reported on the nature of bullying and the
extent to which bullying negatively contributes to student problems ranging from
underachievement to teen suicide to deadly acts of violence. Information is beginning to emerge
on the essential features of bullying prevention strategies, which underscore the importance of
systemic and sustained prevention efforts. As reported in the DuPage County Anti-Bullying
Model Policy and Best Practices, 2011, research studies indicate that multifaceted and long-term
approaches aimed at reducing bullying in schools are more likely to succeed than singlecomponent or short-term programs. Such programs may include the following:
A school-wide component centered on training, awareness, monitoring, and assessment of
bullying;
A classroom component focused on reinforcing school-wide rules and building social and
emotional skills and empathy; and
An intervention component for students who are frequent targets or perpetrators of bullying.
Programs directed at only one of these levels, or interventions designed only for bullying targets
and bullying offenders, are less likely to be effective (Farrington & Ttofi, 2010; Vreeman and
Carroll, 2007). When bullying prevention activities are scaffolded onto a larger comprehensive
framework for prevention and positive youth development, the prevention efforts are
strengthened, while also addressing some of the underlying, contributing social, emotional and
environmental factors that can lead to bullying (DuPage County, 2011). The use of evidencebased programs, those that have repeatedly demonstrated success in a variety of environments,
are more likely to produce desired results, when used with fidelity to the programs design.
Additionally, programs are more likely to be effective when supported by strong administrative
leadership and the ongoing commitment to the program on the part of the adults in the school
system. As noted in the DuPage County Anti-Bullying Model Policy and Best Practices, 2011,
the most promising programs incorporate the following characteristics:
Efforts begin early and continue throughout students educations. Effective HIB programs
should have no end date, but should become part of the life of the school.
A focus on creating a school-wide environment or climate that builds connection and caring
among students, among staff and between students and staff, and discourages bullying and
aggression.
Surveys of students, staff and parents to assess the nature, extent and perceptions of bullying
behavior and attitudes towards bullying.
Training to prepare staff to recognize and respond to bullying.
Ongoing staff development to sustain bullying prevention programs.
Review and enhancement of the BOEs code of student conduct related to HIB behavior.
Development of consistent rules and consistent enforcement of the rules against HIB.
Classroom activities to discuss issues related to bullying and to teach or devise strategies for
responding to and reporting bullying.
Integrating bullying prevention themes in all curriculum disciplines.
Individual and group work with children who have bullied peers.
Involvement of parents in bullying prevention and intervention activities.
Use of teacher or staff groups to increase staff knowledge and motivation to ending bullying.
16

A systematic review of 44 school-based HIB prevention programs indicates that, on average,


anti-bullying programs reduce HIB acts by 20-23% and victimization by 17-20% (Farrington and
Ttofi, 2010). The duration (number of days) and intensity (number of hours) of a program are
significantly related to the reduction of bullying and victimization. Increased duration and
intensity contribute to more significant changes.
School Climate and Culture
Students face the challenges of a dramatically accelerated pace of life, economic pressures on
parents and a pervasive culture of advertising and digital media, some of which appears to
support anti-social norms, and violent problem solving. To help prepare for these challenges, a
focus on social-emotional and character development (SECD) and the social environment of the
school is critically important. Strategies that focus on SECD, school climate and school culture
promote successful behaviors, reduce safety and health concerns, positively affect academics,
build caring communities, prepare students to be ethical leaders and provide resources and
political capital in the community.
School climate refers to the current quality of school life. It is based on peoples experiences of
school and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning
practices and organizational structure. School climate is often linked with the term school
culture, which describes the way schools do things, informed by shared history, customary
practices, formal and informal traditions, celebrations, teamwork and a psychological sense of
community (The School Climate Challenge, 2008).
The terms school culture and school climate describe the environments that affect the behavior
of teachers and students. School culture is the shared beliefs and attitudes that characterize the
district-wide organization and establish boundaries for its constituent units. School climate
characterizes the organization at the school building and classroom levels. It refers to the feel
of a school and can vary from school to school within the same district. School climate and
school culture are two distinct but highly interactive aspects of a school system. Changes in one
produce changes in the other.
Research reports on school climate suggest that positive interpersonal relationships and optimal
learning opportunities for students in all demographic environments can increase achievement
levels and reduce maladaptive behavior (Marshall, 2004). Research findings on school climate
in high-risk urban environments indicate that a positive, supportive and culturally conscious
school climate can significantly shape the degree of academic success experienced by urban
students (Haynes and Comer, 1993). In addition to there being a substantive connection between
school culture and student achievement, there is a strong connection among school culture and
staff member satisfaction, parent engagement and community support.
School climate is a key factor in whether students or adults will bully one another (DuPage
County Schools, 2011). To reduce HIB, it is important to assess and improve, as appropriate, the
climate or feel of the school and the social norms with regard to HIB.
Some practical questions to consider regarding the things that contribute to a schools climate are
included below. The feel experienced when considering these questions is indicative of the
17

school climate (the following is adapted from Maines Best Practices in Bullying and
Harassment Prevention, 2006).
How do you feel and what are your thoughts when observing school walls?
Are there displays of student work? Are pro-social slogans prominently posted everywhere?
Are there posters announcing upcoming school community events?
How are you greeted (or not greeted) by students and adults in the hallway?
Are students and adults helpful and interested in who you are and how to help you get where
you want to go?
Do students and staff make eye contact with you?
Dimensions of School Climate
School climate is a complex concept that includes the following dimensions:
Safety Feeling safe in schools powerfully promotes student learning and healthy
development (Devine and Cohen, 2007). Students and staff feel safe when:
o School and district rules and norms pertaining to safety that include HIB are clearly
communicated through the policies and codes of student conduct (National School
Climate Center, 2011);
o Enforcement of these rules and norms is clear and consistent. There is growing evidence
that schools in which rules are effectively enforced (i.e., better behavior and discipline
management) have lower rates of student victimization and student delinquency
(Gottfredson, et al., 2005);
o Students and adults feel safe from physical harm in the school; and
o Students have a sense of social-emotional security and feel safe from teasing, harassment
and exclusion (National School Climate Center, 2011).

Relationships One of the most important aspects of relationships in schools is the degree to
which people feel connected to one another. The amount of connectedness experienced by
the average student appears to consistently contribute to predicting his or her likelihood of
aggression and victimization (Wilson, 2004). For middle school and high school students,
safe, caring and responsive school climates tend to foster a greater attachment to school and
provide the optimal foundation for social, emotional and academic learning. (Blum et al.,
2002). Most elementary students feel connected to their schools; however, school
connectedness generally begins to decline in middle schools. When it comes to high schools,
as many as 40-60% of all youth - urban, suburban and rural - report being disconnected from
their schools (Monahan, 2010).
Districts are encouraged to consider implementing strategies that support the most vulnerable
students and reinforce the importance of respecting individual differences, including for race,
color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and
expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or for any other distinguishing
characteristic (e.g., personal appearance, social standing) among all school relationships:
student-student, adult-student, adult-adult. Some examples of these strategies include the
following:
o Instituting a Gay-Straight Alliance in the school;
o Training staff to be supportive of student differences; or
o Celebrating important cultural events of students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
18

Teaching and Learning A positive school climate promotes cooperative learning, group
cohesion, respect and mutual trust. Each of these aspects has been shown to directly improve
the learning environment, as evidenced in the factors explained below:
o Student Support Teacher support is integral to student achievement. Research findings
indicate that the student-teacher relationships in kindergarten are related to later academic
and behavioral outcomes for students. If a teacher is negative and disagreeable in
kindergarten, it is more likely that the students will have behavioral and academic
problems in later grades (National School Climate Center, 2011).
o Student Engagement When teachers support and interact positively with students,
students are more likely to be engaged in the learning process and to behave
appropriately (Skinner and Belmont, 1993).
o Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) Evidence-based SECD
programs have resulted in impressive gains in achievement test scores and in increasing
the academic emphasis of elementary and middle school students (National School
Climate Center, 2011).
o Civic Education Implementing learning activities that extend beyond the walls or life of
the classroom is an effective way to incorporate the study of rights and duties of
citizenship into a school, while promoting student learning (National School Climate
Center, 2011).
o Service Learning Service learning projects promote civic engagement, since these
activities teach students ways to apply classroom material to real-life situations. When
students are given ownership and choice in their service learning projects, there is
evidence of increases in students self-concepts and increases in their tolerance for
diversity (Morgan & Streb, 2001).
o Supportive Teaching Teaching in a supportive style, including the use of
encouragement and encouraging students questions, the provision of opportunities for
students to excel, the fostering of independent thinking, and the provision of individual
attention, enhances the classroom climate (National School Climate Center, 2011).
o Interpersonal Skills Encouraging and supporting the development of interpersonal
skills, such as conflict resolution, empathy, ethical decision making and personal
responsibility, improves school climate and contributes to student success (National
School Climate Center, 2011).
o Individual Differences Respecting individual differences among student-student, adultstudent, adult-adult relationships is at the core of positive school climate (National
School Climate Center, 2011).
o Adult-Student Relationships Developing caring and supportive one-to-one adult-student
relationships promotes positive school climates (National School Climate Center, 2011).
o Modeling Teaching, encouraging and modeling behaviors for students to be supportive
of each others emotional and academic needs is associated with positive school climates
(National School Climate Center, 2011).
o Teacher Support When teachers feel supported by both the principal and their peers
they are more committed to their profession (National School Climate Center, 2011).
o Teachers Beliefs Establishing a positive school climate also is associated with the
development of teachers beliefs that they can positively affect student learning (National
School Climate Center, 2011).
19

Institutional Environment The size and physical layout of a school can affect students
feelings about safety. The following tend to occur in schools that have positive institutional
environments (adapted from The National School Climate Center, 2011):
o Staff, students, and families feel a positive connection to the school and participate in
many different aspects of school life.
o The building, its classrooms and all physical structures are neat, clean and appealing.
o Staff and students have adequate resources and materials.
o Efforts are made to form smaller learning communities as a way to improve the school
learning environment. While smaller schools are positively correlated to school
connectedness, school size is not the only way to improve the learning environment.
o School administrators convey a clear vision for the school and strive to successfully
implement the vision.
o Administrators are accessible to and supportive of staff members.
o Administrators are committed to ongoing professional development for themselves and
their staff members.
o Professional relationships are characterized by supportive attitudes and positive
interactions; staff members effectively work together.

Assessing Bullying
A best practice for effective bullying prevention and intervention involves regular, thorough
assessments of the bullying behavior and climate of a school. Different types of bullying occur
with varied frequency and magnitude among different populations in assorted school settings at
various points in time. Therefore, a data-driven approach for reducing bullying and improving
school climate, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, is critically important for the
development of an effective bullying prevention strategy. School-wide bullying prevention and
intervention programs are more purposeful and relevant when they are informed by the students
views (San Antonio and Salzfas, 2007).
The importance of engaging in data collection efforts is underscored by the evidence of a
disparity in the number of incidents that are reported to school staff and those that go unreported.
For example, according to a 2001 study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development (NICHD) only 36% of students who were bullied notified a teacher or
another adult at school about the event (DuPage County Schools, 2011). Data can help
administrators and educators tailor a bullying prevention strategy to meet the schools needs, and
can serve as a baseline from which administrators can measure and report their progress in
reducing bullying. Provided below are a few tips for assessing bullying:
It is essential to be able to identify where, when and how students experience bullying at
school (DuPage County Schools, 2011).
The assessments should consider multiple factors and individuals within the school system
using direct measures, such as surveys and interviews, and indirect measures, such as
disciplinary and attendance records (Marshall, 2004).
Anonymous student questionnaires and focus groups can be employed to assess the nature
and extent of bullying and perceptions of and attitudes towards bullying (DuPage County
Schools, 2011).

20

Having students identify hot spots for bullying behavior can be very revealing. Once these
areas are identified, it is imperative for district or school officials take immediate action
(DuPage County Schools, 2011).

Staff, Student, Parent and Community Support for HIB Prevention


Bullying and other problem student behaviors typically do not only occur in school, and the
solutions to these problems cannot be borne exclusively by school staff. Schools are most likely
to prevent bullying and other problem student behavior and promote student well-being and
success through comprehensive, coordinated and systematically planned programs, services and
activities that are cooperatively developed in consultation with school staff and administrators,
students, volunteers, law enforcement, parents and other community members, as required under
N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17.
Some of the benefits of a community-wide approach to bullying prevention include the
following:
Increased awareness of bullying Students report that bullying typically happens in
unsupervised areas. The more adults watching, the better.
Increased attention to bullying that occurs beyond the school house door Since bullying
also occurs in the community, wherever children and youth gather, it is important for
community members to be vigilant and coordinate with school officials.
Increased input and support from the community for bullying prevention programs The
commitment of parents and community members is vital to developing and sustaining
effective programs.
Increased exposure to the message Bullying prevention messages can have more impact
when they come from many adults and credible resources in a community, not only from
educators and parents.
Provided below are some ideas for community-wide strategies to prevent bullying:
Involve youth, parents, professionals and volunteers in promoting HIB prevention.
Use resources that exist in the community.
Engage interested partners from a variety of sources, including educators, counselors,
medical and mental health professionals, child development and family centers, social
service agencies, law enforcement officials, neighborhood associations, faith-based
organizations, volunteer groups and businesses.
Include the voices of students from especially vulnerable populations, including racial, ethnic
or religious minorities; gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning individuals;
individuals with mental, physical or sensory disabilities; and other groups representing
distinguishing characteristics.
Inform parents and students of resources that are available to help learn about bullying and
bullying prevention efforts.
Develop a comprehensive, long-range strategy for addressing bullying.
Use assessment results to identify bullying concerns, determine priorities for a bullying
prevention plan, target responses to bullying incidents and assess progress.
Become an advocate for appropriate anti-bullying policies in the schools and other
community institutions.
Continually assess the effectiveness of community efforts.
21

Coordination of HIB Prevention Activities


Bullying and other prevention efforts should be coordinated by a group that is representative of
the school and community. The School Anti-Bullying Specialist and the School Safety Team
(SST) roles are intended to lead this effort.
In addition to the required SST members, the principal might consider including volunteers,
law enforcement officials, parents and other community members, a teacher from each grade,
a non-teaching staff member, a school counselor or other school-based mental-health
professional or a school nurse.
While the SST is required, at a minimum, to meet twice each school year, meetings could be
held regularly to review survey data, plan and assess bullying prevention policies and
activities, motivate staff, students and parents and ensure that efforts are sustained.
A student advisory committee could be formed to focus on bullying prevention and provide
valuable suggestions and feedback to school staff.
Observances of the Week of Respect and School Violence Awareness Week could be used to
focus on prevention messages that will be sustained throughout the school year.
Staff Development
In addition to being required under the ABR, staff training typically enables and enhances the
implementation of bullying prevention activities and builds commitment to these activities. Some
key areas of focus for bullying training include the following:
Understanding the nature of bullying and its effects;
Recognizing, reporting and responding to bullying;
Identifying and addressing the special needs of vulnerable populations;
Utilizing classroom activities to discuss bullying and related issues;
Integrating bullying prevention into the curriculum;
Coordinating with others in the school to prevent bullying; and
Sustaining bullying prevention programs.
Increase Adult Supervision in Areas Where Bullying has Occurred
Once student questionnaires or other information gathering techniques reveal where most
incidents of bullying occur, seek creative ways to increase an adult presence in those areas.
Intervene Consistently and Appropriately in Bullying Situations
Train staff to immediately intervene to stop bullying whenever it is observed, and to vigilantly
follow the BOEs HIB policies and procedures. Separate follow-up meetings should be held
with both victims and alleged offenders. Parents of affected students must be contacted by the
principal, and should be involved to the extent possible.
Focus Class Time on Bullying Prevention
Bullying prevention should include a classroom component. For example, 20-30 minutes a week
could be set aside to discuss bullying and peer relations with students. This facilitates teachers
keeping their fingers on the pulse of student concerns, allows for discussions about bullying and
its effects, and provides opportunities to reinforce rules and expectations and impart or devise
tools for students to address bullying problems. Anti-bullying themes and messages should be
incorporated throughout the school curriculum.
22

Continue Bullying Prevention Efforts for a Sustained Period Time


There is no end date for bullying, and therefore, there should be no end date for prevention
activities. Bullying prevention should be woven into the educational program and the entire
school environment. These efforts should begin early and continue throughout students
educations.

23

BEST PRACTICES IN BULLYING INTERVENTION


Intervention is the next step on the continuum of a comprehensive bullying program. Research
reports indicate that educators might not recognize students identified by their peers as students
who bully (http://www.stopbullying.gov). In 2005, The Colorado Trust launched a project titled
the Bullying Prevention Initiative. The results of this study indicate that a reduction in bullying
occurred in schools where teachers and students were willing to intervene, treat each other fairly
and demonstrate that they care about one another.
In order to effectively intervene, all school staff should know the signs of bullying so that they
can appropriately intervene even when there is only a suspicion that bullying may be occurring,
which is important for sending the message that bullying is not acceptable behavior. Some key
factors for effective bullying intervention follow:
Respond in the moment to manage the situation and ensure safety.
o Stop the bullying immediately.
o Separate the students involved.
o Do not immediately ask about or discuss the reason for the bullying incident.
o Do not try to sort out the facts at this point in the intervention.
Ensure the victims safety.
o Check that the victim is physically or emotionally unharmed and determine his or her
safety needs;
o Use short-term environmental arrangements, such as a seat or schedule change.
o Increase adult presence in the vicinity of a predictable bullying incident.
Address the bully and bystanders.
o Use the incident as a teachable moment. Help bystanders understand the harmful
effects of the incident, including any inappropriate behavior on the part of bystanders,
and the expectations and options for bystanders in these types of incidents.
o Restate and clarify behavioral expectations (i.e., We respect, protect and care for each
other here.)
o Reference school rules and the code of student conduct.
o Escort or refer the offender(s) to the office.
Encourage bystanders to do the right thing and take an active, pro-social role next time by
giving them specific suggestions for the next time they observe a bullying incident:
o Say STOP!
o Get an adult for immediate help.
o Report incidents of bullying, including cyberbullying, or rumors of potential
confrontation.
o Encourage other students to walk away.
Follow the school districts reporting procedures.
Stay alert to possible continued bullying incidents by using active supervision strategies.
o Move around the area; increase your proximity to areas where students regularly interact.
o Routinely scan for possible problems or incidents.
o Interact with students regularly to establish rapport.
Provide support to the victim.
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o Develop a screening process to better understand the victims point of view and
determine appropriate interventions for improving the effectiveness, relevance and
efficiency of interventions and supports for the victim. The screening process could
include:
Review of academic records and, if applicable, Individualized Education Programs
(IEPs).
Interview with the student.
Student completed checklists or rating scales.
Possible observations of settings and situations where bullying is known to occur.
o Alter Long-term Environmental Arrangements Change the victims seat or schedule;
position staff in the vicinity of predictable bullying incidents.
o Provide Social Skills Instruction Examples of topics include assertiveness skills,
empowerment skills and responding appropriately in the moment.
o Increase positive contact with adults Set up dedicated meeting times. Provide
mentoring.
o Encourage relationship building and peer supports, including active listening skills,
empathy, problem solving, and providing support to vulnerable or victimized peers.
Best Practices in Responding to Children Who Bully
Conduct a screening and functional assessment as a means of gathering information to
uncover variables associated with patterns of behavior and determine the function or
purposes of the behavior. This includes identifying setting events and antecedents the
conditions that trigger behavior and the factors that support continuation of the behavior.
The purpose of behavioral information gathering is to improve the effectiveness, relevance
and efficiency of behavior support plans and interventions.
Collect data from a combination of sources of information (e.g., interviews, observations,
review of office conduct referrals, checklists, rating scales).
Assess data in order to determine the pattern(s) of the behavior(s) of concern.
Select interventions based on the function of a students behavior. Provided below are
summary descriptions of two theorists that provide insight for determining effective
interventions for HIB. Both theories indicate that it is essential to be mindful of the function
or purpose the behavior serves for a student, and that logical consequences, rather than
punishments (e.g., out-of-school suspension) have a greater likelihood of affecting the
behaviors of concern:
o Social theorists, such as Adler (1956) and Dreikurs (1982), maintained that:
Humans are social beings, and their main desire (basic motivation) is to belong;
All behavior is purposeful; the behavior of another person cannot be understood
unless one knows which goal it is directed towards, and it is always directed towards
finding ones place in the world;
Human beings are decision-making organisms; and
Human beings do not see reality as it is, but only as they perceive it, and their
perceptions may be mistaken or biased.
o Dreikurs (1968) contended that every act has a consequence, and if students are to avoid
unpleasant results of their acts they must behave in a way that will help to produce
favorable results. Logical consequences should offer students a clear and logical choice
of behavior and results, and the students must perceive that they have a choice and must
25

accept the relationship of their choice to the response. Consequences are structured and
arranged by the adult, but must be experienced by the students as logical in nature
(Dreikurs, 1972). Some key points on consequences follow
Logical consequences express the reality of the social order, not of the person (i.e.,
punishment, the power of a personal authority).
Logical consequences are logically related to the behavior of concern; punishment
rarely is. The student must clearly see the relationship between his or her act and the
result of his or her own behavior rather than that of others.
Logical consequences involve no element of moral judgment; punishment inevitably
does. A logical consequence gives the student the choice of deciding for him or
herself whether or not the student wants to repeat a given act.
The voice is friendly when consequences are invoked; there is anger in punishment,
either open or concealed.
Short- and long-term interventions should focus on addressing social-emotional, behavioral,
academic, environmental and other issues related to the underlying reasons for the bullying
pattern. Examples of possible interventions include:
o Relationship building with a positive peer network;
o Relationship building with staff or mentor;
o Academic supports to address academic deficits contributing to poor social behaviors;
o Self-identity and self-confidence empowerment building that reduces the need for the
student to act out and gain power;
o Changing the students seat assignment, changing the students schedule, controlling the
location of offenders and their associates and the victims; and
o Morning and afternoon check-in systems to increase positive contact with adults.

Instruction for Building Social Skills Competence


Provide short- and long-term instructional interventions to support the students development of
positive social skills intended to replace the bullying behavior, including instruction in the
following subjects:
Awareness and respect for differences;
Empathy building and tolerance;
Appropriate and positive use of power;
Assertiveness and leadership skills;
Goal setting; and
Constructively managing conflict and situations that involve an audience.
Instructional interventions may occur one-on-one with the student or in small groups using
instructional formats that could include:
Role plays,
Discussion;
Practice; and
Problem-solving situations.
Range of Responses to HIB
The ABR requires boards of education to establish a range of responses to HIB incidents, and
the principal and ABS to appropriately apply these responses. The responses must include
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remedial actions provided for and consequences imposed on a student or a staff member who
commits an act of HIB against a student. Appropriate consequences and remedial actions are
those that are graded according to the severity of the offenses, consider the developmental ages
of the student offenders and students histories of inappropriate behaviors, per the code of
student conduct and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student or staff member who commit one or
more acts of HIB may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including
suspension or expulsion, as set forth in the board of education approved code of student conduct.
Additionally, remedial measures should be designed to correct the problem behavior; prevent
another occurrence of the problem; protect and provide support for the victim of the act; and take
correction for documented systemic problems related to HIB. While consequences and remedial
actions typically are different, they can overlap and have complementary purposes: modifying
bullying behavior.
School staff should use violations of the school rules as opportunities to help students improve
their social and emotional skills, accept personal responsibility for their learning environments,
and understand consequences for poor choices and behaviors. A clear distinction exists between
remediation and consequences:
Remediation Websters Ninth Collegiate Dictionary defines the term remedial as
intended as a remedy and concerned with the correction of faulty study habits and the
raising of a pupils general competence. Remediation is intended to correct the problem
behavior, prevent a recurrence of the behavior, protect and provide support for the victim and
take corrective action for documented systemic problems related to HIB. Remedial measures
provide the student with an opportunity to reflect on behavior, learn pro-social skills and
make amends to those affected by the bullying behavior.
Consequences Websters Ninth Collegiate Dictionary defines consequence as a conclusion
derived from logic and something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set
of conditions. Consequences in school policies tend to be primarily punitive in nature (e.g.,
out-of-school suspension). However, punitive measures are not necessarily logical outcomes
or commonsense responses to behavior; typically are not effective in correcting behavior and
can be counterproductive; should be used only when appropriate and absolutely necessary;
and almost always should be used in conjunction with remediation measures (DuPage
County Schools, 2011). Logical consequences (described above), on the other hand, are
complementary to remedial strategies, in that they are designed to correct the behavior of
concern, while the student also experiences the negative effects of his or her behavior.
Since N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(b)(4) establishes that the response to a person (not only a student) who
commits an act of HIB must include both consequences and appropriate remedial action, school
officials are responsible for taking all appropriate steps to understand and rectify the problem,
which by law involves more than traditional punitive actions. The overall school climate and
school culture and the individual and institutional factors that contribute to climate and culture
might overtly or inadvertently support HIB behaviors; these factors always should be considered
in the response to an act of HIB. Additionally, in all cases the district should attempt to actively
involve parents in the remediation of the behaviors(s) of concern.

27

For each incident of HIB, the school officials must respond to the individual who committed the
act. The range of responses to each confirmed HIB act should include individual, classroom,
school or district responses, as appropriate to the findings from each incident. Examples of
responses that apply to each category are as follows:
Individual Responses can include consistent and appropriate positive behavioral interventions
such as peer mentoring, short-term counseling or life skills groups intended to remediate the
problem behaviors.
Classroom Responses can include classroom discussions about an HIB incident, role plays
(when implemented with sensitivity to students situations or involvement with HIB),
research projects, observing and discussing audio-visual materials or books on these subjects,
skill-building lessons in courtesy, tolerance, assertiveness and conflict-management;
School Responses can include theme days, learning station programs, acts of kindness
programs or awards, use of student survey data to plan prevention and intervention programs
and activities, social norms campaigns, posters, public service announcements, natural
helper or peer leadership programs, upstander programs, parent programs, the
dissemination of information to students and parents explaining acceptable uses of electronic
and wireless communication devices, and HIB prevention curricula or campaigns.
District-wide Responses can comprise adoption of school-wide programs, including
enhancing the school climate, involving the community in policy review and development,
providing professional development, coordinating with community-based organizations such
as mental health services, health facilities, law enforcement and faith-based organizations,
and launching HIB prevention campaigns.
The following factors should be considered when determining remedial measures:
Personal
o Life skill deficiencies;
o Social relationships;
o Strengths;
o Talents;
o Interests;
o Hobbies;
o Extra-curricular activities;
o Classroom participation;
o Academic performance; and
o Relationship to students and the school district.
Environmental
o School culture;
o School climate;
o Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;
o General staff management of classrooms or other educational environments;
o Staff ability to prevent and manage difficult or inflammatory situations;
o Social-emotional and behavioral supports;
o Social relationships;
o Community activities;
o Neighborhood situations; and
o Family situation.
28

The following factors should be considered when determining consequences:


Student Considerations
o Age, developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved and their relationship to
school staff and the educational program;
o Degree of harm;
o Surrounding circumstances;
o Nature and severity of the behaviors;
o Incidences of past or continuing patterns of behavior;
o Relationships between the parties involved; and
o Context in which the alleged events occurred.
School Considerations
o School culture, climate and general staff management of the learning environment;
o Social, emotional and behavioral supports;
o Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;
o Family, community and neighborhood situation; and
o Alignment with policy and procedures.
Consequences and remedial measures could include, but are not limited to, the examples listed
below:
Examples of Remedial Measures
Personal Student Exhibiting Bullying Behavior
o Develop a behavioral contract with the student. Ensure the student has voice in the
outcome and can identify ways he or she can solve the problem and change behaviors;
o Meet with parents to develop a family agreement to ensure the parent and the student
understand school rules and expectations;
o Explain the long-term negative consequences of HIB on all involved;
o Ensure understanding of consequences, if HIB behavior continues;
o Meet with school counselor, school social worker or school psychologist to decipher
mental health issues (e.g., what is happening and why?);
o Develop a learning plan that includes consequences and skill building;
o Consider wrap-around support services or after-school programs or services;
o Provide social skill training, such as impulse control, anger management, developing
empathy and problem solving;
o Arrange for an apology, preferably written;
o Require a reflective essay to ensure the student understands the impact of his or her
actions on others;
o Have the student research and teach a lesson to the class about bullying, empathy or a
similar topic.
o Arrange for restitution (i.e., compensation, reimbursement, amends, repayment),
particularly when personal items were damaged or stolen;
o Explore age-appropriate restorative (i.e., healing, curative, recuperative) practices; and
o Schedule a follow-up conference with the student.
Personal Target/Victim
o Meet with a trusted staff member to explore the students feelings about the incident;
o Develop a plan to ensure the students emotional and physical safety at school;
29

o Have the student meet with the school counselor or school social worker to ensure he or
she does not feel responsible for the bullying behavior;
o Ask students to log behaviors in the future;
o Help the student develop skills and strategies for resisting bullying; and
o Schedule a follow-up conference with the student.
Parents, Family and Community
o Develop a family agreement;
o Refer the family for family counseling; and
o Offer parent education workshops related to bullying and social-emotional learning.
Environmental (Classroom, School Building)
o Conduct school and community surveys or implement other strategies for determining the
conditions contributing to the bullying;
o Revise school policy and procedures;
o Communicate behavioral expectations to students, parents and staff;
o Modify student schedules or transportation routes;
o Increase supervision in hot spots (e.g., locker room, hallways, playground, cafeteria,
school perimeter, bus) where bullying occurs or is likely to occur;
o Provide ongoing professional development for staff to learn effective intervention and
prevention strategies; and
o Involve the Parent Teacher Association or Parent Teacher Organization.

Examples of Consequences
The use of negative consequences should occur in conjunction with remediation and not be relied
upon as the sole intervention approach. Negative consequences should be immediate, short-term,
varied, graded and developmentally appropriate, such as the following:
Admonishment;
Temporary removal from class;
Deprivation of privileges;
Classroom or administrative detention;
Referral to disciplinarian;
In school suspension;
Out of school suspension (short-term or long-term);
Report to law enforcement or take other legal action;
Expulsion; and
For adult offenders, bans from providing services, participating in school-district sponsored
programs or being in school buildings or on school grounds and other disciplinary measures
permitted under local bargaining unit agreements, board of education policies and State law.

Victim Support
It is not sufficient to only impose consequences and to implement strategies for remediating the
behavior of students or staff who commit acts of HIB. Support should be provided for the victims
of HIB. Districts should identify a range of strategies and resources that will be available to
individual victims of HIB, and respond in a manner that provides relief to victims and does not
stigmatize victims or further their sense of persecution. The type, diversity, location and degree
of support are directly related to the students perception of safety. Sufficient safety measures
30

should be undertaken to ensure the victims physical and social-emotional well-being and their
ability to learn in a safe, supportive and civil educational environment.
Examples of support for student victims of HIB include:
Teacher aides;
Hallway and playground monitors;
Partnering with a school leader;
Provision of an adult mentor;
Assignment of an adult shadow to help protect the student;
Seating changes;
Schedule changes;
School transfers;
Before-and after-school supervision;
School transportation supervision;
Counseling; and
Treatment or therapy.
The Role of Peers in Bully-Victim Interactions
Immediate anti-bullying interventions address the bullies and victims, but long-term
interventions should engage the entire student body and should specifically engage groups of
students who witness acts of bullying. It is essential to change the behavior of the bystanders
who witness bullying but do nothing to stop it. Although anti-bullying attitudes are common,
few students actually express anti-bullying attitudes or try to intervene in bullying. On the
contrary, many students act in ways that encourage or support the bullying, taking on the
participant roles of assistants or reinforcers of the bully. Other students, so-called outsiders,
withdraw and pretend not to notice these events. Fortunately, there also can be defenders who
give support to the victims (Salmavalli, 1996).
In the 2004 research of Salmavalli and Voeten, it was found that participant role behaviors varied
greatly between classrooms. While they posited that changing attitudes might be a good starting
point for bullying prevention, an even more critical issue is learning and transferring antibullying behaviors to actual bullying situations. The participant role approach is intended to
encourage students in bystander roles to stop bullying behaviors; build citizenship; develop
social-emotional literacy; and increase empathy for others. Salmavalli (1999) suggests three
steps for curriculum-based bullying prevention activities using the participant role approach:
Step One Raise awareness.
o Discuss bullying in the classroom, starting with themes such as the definition of bullying,
practical examples of bullying and understanding how it feels to be bullied, moving on to
the group mechanisms involved in bullying.
o Point out that in a group setting, people often behave in a different way from their beliefs
about bullying. Most students have attitudes against bullying, but in actual situations
they may behave in ways that encourage and maintain bullying in the school.
o Make students aware of the discrepancy between their attitudes and behavior as a starting
point for change. By introducing the different participant roles, students are provided
with concrete content for discussion.
Step Two Encourage self-reflection.
31

o Provide students with opportunities to learn appropriate behavior during bullying events
by reflecting on their observations and their behavior.
Step Three Commit to anti-bullying behaviors.
o Help students find ways in which they could behave individually and as a group to put an
end to bullying.
o Rehearse roles different from their previous ones using drama and role play techniques.
These activities provide a safe context for students to explore feelings associated with
different participant roles, and to rehearse anti-bullying behaviors that the students have
not previously tried, such as telling others to stop bullying.
o Make sure that class rules address bullying behavior that includes bystander reactions.

Systemic HIB Problems


Corrective actions should be taken to address documented systemic problems related to bullying,
such as when there is an ongoing, unresolved bullying complaint; when there are concerns with
patterns of bullying complaints; or when concerns of systemic bullying issues have been raised
as a result of an investigation or as documented in a complaint (e.g. school officials not fulfilling
their responsibilities regarding HIB laws and regulations). Institutional responses at the
classroom, school building or district level typically include a combination of strategies which
could include the following:
Analysis of existing data to identify bullying issues and concerns;
Use of findings from school surveys (e.g., school climate surveys);
Focus groups;
Mailings postal and email;
Cable access television;
School culture change;
School climate improvement;
Adoption of evidence-based bullying prevention practices and programs;
Training for all certificated and non-certificated staff;
Professional development plans for involved staff;
Participation of parents and other community members and organizations (e.g., Parent
Teacher Associations, Parent Teacher Organizations) in the educational program and in
problem-solving bullying issues;
Formation of professional learning communities to address bullying problems;
Small or large group presentations for fully addressing the actions and the schools response
to the actions, in the context of the acceptable student and staff member behavior and the
consequences of such actions;
School policy and procedure revisions;
Modifications of schedules;
Adjustments in hallway traffic;
Examination and adoption of educational practices for actively engaging students in the
learning process and in bonding students to pro-social institutions and people;
Modifications in student routes or patterns traveling to and from school;
Supervision of student victims before and after school, including school transportation;
Targeted use of monitors (e.g., hallway, cafeteria, locker room, playground, school
perimeter, bus);
Targeted use of teacher aides;
32

Disciplinary action, including dismissal, for school staff who contributed to the problem;
Supportive institutional interventions, including participation in the Intervention and Referral
Services team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;
Parent conferences;
Family counseling;
Development of a general bullying response plan;
Participation of the entire student body in problem-solving HIB issues;
Recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;
Peer support groups;
School transfers; and
Involvement of law enforcement officers, including school resource officers and juvenile
officers.

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Model Policy and Guidance for Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying on School
Property, At School Functions, and on School Buses (Revised April 2011) available at
www.state.nj.us/education/parents/bully.htm.
Monahan, Kathryn, Oesterle, Sabrina, and Hawkins, David J., Predictors and Consequences of
School Connectedness: The Case for Prevention, The Prevention Researcher, v 17(3), September
2010.
Morgan, W., and Streb, M. (March, 2001). Building citizenship: How student voice in servicelearning develops civic values. SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY, 82(1), 155169.
National School Climate Center, 545 8th Avenue, RM 930, New York, NY 10018. Retrieved and
adapted from http://www.schoolclimate.org/guidelines/schoolclimateimprovement.php, 2011.
NJ Coalition Against Sexual Violence, www.njcasa.org/content/prevention-strategies.
NJ Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention, www.njbullying.org.
NJDOE Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Complaint Procedures and Investigating
Protocols, 2010.
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Hazelden Publishing, 15251 Pleasant Valley Road, P.O.
Box 176, Center City, MN 55012-0176, http://www.hazelden.org/web/go/olweus, 2011.
Olweus, Dan, Bullying at School: Basic Facts and Effects of a School-Based Intervention
Program, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, October, 1994, 35,
7, 1171-1190.
Salmivalli, C. (1999). Participant role approach to school bullying: Implications for
interventions. Journal of Adolescence, 22, 453-459.
Salmivalli, C., Lagerspetz, K., Bjorkquist, K. Osterman, K., and Kamkiainen, A. (1996).
Bullying as a group process: Participant roles and their relations to social status within the group,
Aggressive Behavior, 22, 1-15.
Salmivalli, C. and Voeten, M. (2004). Connection between attitudes, group norms, and behavior
in bullying situations. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28, 246-258.
San Antonio, Donna M. and Salzfass, Elizabeth A., How We Treat One Another in School,
Educational Leadership, Volume 64 Number 8 May 2007 p. 32-38.
35

The School Climate Challenge: Narrowing the Gap Between School Climate Research and
School Climate Policy, Practice Guidelines and Teacher Education Policy, A White Paper.
Developed by National School Climate Center. Published by Education Commission of the
States, 2008.
Stop Bullying, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, retrieved and adapted from
www.stopbullying.gov, 2011.
Swearer, S.M., Espleage, D.L. and Napolitano, Bullying Prevention and Intervention: Realistic
Strategies for Schools, New York, The Guilford Press, 2009.
The 2009 National School Climate Survey. The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender Youth in Our Nations Schools.
http://www.glsen.org/binary-data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/000/001/1675-5.PDF.
Understanding School Safety and The Intersections of Race, Ethnicity & Sexual Orientation,
California Safe Schools Research, Brief 10. Retrieved from
http://casafeschools.org/CSSC_Research_Brief_10.pdf, 2011.
U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP Fact Sheet, Addressing the Problem of Juvenile Bullying,
Ericson, Nels 2001).
Vreeman, R.C. and Carroll, A.E., A Systematic\Review of School-Based Interventions to
Prevent Bullying, Archives of Pediatric Medicine, 161(1), 78-88, 2007.
Waasdorp, T., Pas E.T,C.P., OBrennan, L.M. and Bradshaw, C.P.A, Multilevel Perspective, on
the Climate of Bullying Discrepancies Among Students, School Staff, and Parents, Journal of
School Violence (2011), 10 (2), 115-132.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes, Bullying and The Child with Special Needs, http://www.Ability
Path.org, 2010.
Websters Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Publishers, Springfield,
MA. 1988.
What Works in Prevention: Principles of Effective Prevention Programs, Nation et al. American
Psychologist, 2003 Jun-Jul; 58(6-7): 449-56.
Wilson, D. (2004). The interface of school climate and school connectedness and relationships
with aggression and victimization. Journal of School Health. 74(7), 293-299.

36

CHAPTER 2
ALL SCHOOL STAFF BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION INFORMATION
HIB RESPONSIBILITIES INVOLVING SCHOOL STAFF
The intent of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (P.L.2010, c.122) is to strengthen standards and
procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating and responding to HIB incidents of students in
school and off school premises. The provisions in the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR) that
affect school districts are explained in this publication in Chapter 1, School Administrator and
Board of Education Member Bullying Prevention and Intervention. The provisions of the ABR
that specifically pertain to school staff are explained below.
Policy Development
Each district board of education is required to adopt a policy prohibiting HIB on school grounds
at a school-sponsored function or on a school bus. The salient point for school staff is that
the districts HIB policy must be developed using a process that includes representation from
parents, students, school district and school staff and administrators, volunteers who have
significant contact with students and community representatives.
Staff Training and Development
Professional Development The following is required for teachers and education services
professionals in each five-year professional development cycle. The NJDOEs guidance on
this requirement can be found at
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/HIBGuidancePD.pdf. The
NJDOEs training PowerPoint resources can be used to assist with local in-service programs;
however, the use of these materials is not sufficient to fulfill the in-service training
requirements regarding local policies and protected groups (see
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/overview.shtml).
o Two hours of instruction in suicide prevention which must include
Information on the relationship between risk of suicide and HIB incidents; and
Information on reducing the risk of suicide in students who are members of
communities identified as having members at high risk of suicide.
o An additional two hours of instruction on HIB prevention.
Existing School Employees, Volunteers and Contractors All school staff, including
administrators, instructors, student support services, administrative/office support,
transportation, food service, facilities/maintenance, volunteers who have significant contact
with students and persons contracted by the district to provide services to students, must be
provided with training on the BOEs HIB policies.
o The training must include instruction on preventing HIB on the basis of the protected
categories identified in the definition of HIB, provided in this document and as
established at N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14, and other distinguishing characteristics that may incite
incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying.
New Full- and Part-time Employees, Volunteers and Contractors The school district is
required to incorporate information regarding its HIB policy into the employee training
program, which must be provided to full-time ad pat-time staff, volunteers who have
significant contact with students and persons contracted by the district to provide services to
students.
37

District Anti-Bullying Coordinators (ABC) and School Anti-Bullying Specialists (ABS)


These staff must be provided time during the usual school schedule to ensure they are
prepared to act in these roles.
School Safety Team (SST) The members of the SST must participate in the in-service
training provided by the district and other training as requested by the principal or the ABC,
and must be provided with professional development opportunities that address effective
school climate improvement practices, programs or approaches.
Teacher Certification Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, all candidates for
teaching certification who have completed a teacher preparation program at a regionally
accredited institution of higher education must have satisfactorily completed a program on
HIB prevention. Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, any person seeking certification
through the alternate route must, within one year of being employed, satisfactorily complete
a program on HIB prevention. The NJDOEs guidance on this requirement can be found at
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/HIBGuidanceEdPrep.pdf.

Staff Roles and Responsibilities


The ABR establishes new roles and responsibilities for central office and school staff. These
requirements are described below:
District Anti-Bullying Coordinator The chief school administrator (CSA) is required to
appoint a district anti-bullying coordinator (ABC). The CSA is encouraged, but not required,
to appoint a school district employee to perform the ABC role. The responsibilities of the
ABC include the following: (S)
o Coordinating and strengthening the school districts policies to prevent, identify and
address HIB of students;
o Collaborating with the School Anti-Bullying Specialists in the school district, the BOE
and the CSA to prevent, identify and respond to HIB of students in the school district;
o In collaboration with the CSA, providing data to the NJDOE regarding HIB of students;
o Executing other duties related to school HIB as requested by the CSA;
o Meeting twice each school year with the ABS in the district to discuss and strengthen
procedures and policies to prevent, identify and address HIB in the school district.

School Anti-Bullying Specialist The principal in each school is required to appoint a School
Anti-Bullying Specialist (ABS). The ABS must be a:
o Guidance counselor;
o School psychologist; or
o Other person trained to be the ABS from among the currently employed staff in the
school.
The responsibilities of the ABS include the following:
o Chairing the school safety team;
o Leading the investigation of HIB incidents in the school; and
o Acting as the primary school official responsible for preventing, identifying and
addressing HIB incidents in the school.

School Safety Team A school safety team (SST) must be formed in each school in the
school district. The purposes of the team are to develop, foster and maintain a positive school
38

climate by focusing on the ongoing systematic operational procedures and educational


practices in the school and to address issues, such as HIB, that affect school climate and
culture. The SST must consist of the following members:
o The principal or his or her designee who, when possible, is a senior administrator in the
school, and the following appointees of the principal
o A teacher in the school;
o An ABS;
o A parent of a student in the school; and
o Other members as determined by the principal.
The responsibilities of the SST include the following:
o Receiving records of all complaints of HIB of students that have been reported to the
principal*;
o Receiving copies of all reports prepared after an investigation of an HIB incident*;
o Identifying and addressing patterns of HIB of students in the school*;
o Reviewing and strengthening school climate and the policies of the school in order to
prevent HIB of students;
o Educating the community, including students, teachers, administrative staff and parents,
to prevent and address HIB of students;
o Participating in the training required under the ABR and other training which the
principal or the ABC may request. Additionally, the SST must be provided professional
development opportunities that may address effective practices of successful school
climate programs or approaches;
o Meeting, at a minimum, twice each school year; and
o Executing other duties related to HIB as requested by the principal or ABC.
*A parent who is a member of the SST is not permitted to participate in the first three activities identified
above or in any other activities of the team which may compromise the confidentiality of a student,
consistent with, at a minimum, the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20
U.S.C. 1232g and 34 CFR Part 99), N.J.A.C. 6A:32-7, Student Records and N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.9, Student
records.

HIB Prevention Programs, Approaches and Other Initiatives


HIB Prevention Programs Schools and school districts must annually establish, implement,
document and assess HIB prevention programs, approaches or other initiatives. School staff,
students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members must
be involved in this annual process. The programs, approaches or other initiatives must be
designed to create school-wide conditions to prevent and intervene with HIB of students.
HIB Instruction In accordance with the core curriculum content standards, each school
district must provide ongoing age-appropriate instruction on preventing HIB throughout the
school year.
Week of Respect Establishes that the week beginning with the first Monday in October of
each year is designated as a Week of Respect, during which time districts must provide
age-appropriate instruction focusing on preventing HIB.

39

BEST PRACTICES FOR STAFF IN BULLYING PREVENTION


HIB Prevention Activities
As reported in the DuPage County Anti-Bullying Model Policy and Best Practices, 2011, during
the last twenty years, research studies have been conducted and reports made about the nature of
bullying and the extent to which bullying negatively contributes to problems ranging from
underachievement to teen suicide to deadly acts of violence. Information on effective HIB
prevention and the importance of systemic, sustained bullying prevention efforts is emerging.
Multifaceted approaches aimed at reducing bullying in schools appear to be more likely to
succeed than single-component programs. Multifaceted approaches typically include, at a
minimum, the following components:
A school-wide component centered on training, awareness, monitoring and assessment of
bullying;
A classroom component focused on reinforcing school-wide rules and building socialemotional skills and empathy; and
An intervention component for students who are frequent targets or perpetrators of bullying.
Programs directed at only one of these levels, or interventions designed only for the targets and
perpetrators of bullying, are less likely to be effective (Farrington & Ttofi, 2009; Vreeman &
Carroll, 2007). When schools are able to scaffold bullying prevention onto a larger,
comprehensive framework for prevention and positive youth development, their prevention
efforts are strengthened, while also addressing some of the social, emotional and environmental
factors that can lead to bullying (DuPage County Schools, 2011). Where possible, it is important
to use evidence-based programs that have repeatedly demonstrated success or programs
specifically designed to address data-driven needs and to obtain strong administrative leadership
and ongoing commitment on the part of the adults in the school system.
School Climate in the Classroom Setting
Although school climate should be addressed on a school-wide basis, there are a host of activities
that teachers can use to improve classroom climate, which can contribute to improvements in the
climate of the school. Provided below are descriptions of the variables that comprise school and
classroom climate and activities that can help improve school and classroom climate (portions
adapted from The National School Climate Center, 2011).
Safety
Give students an opportunity to think about and share their core values for the class and their
commitment to and responsibility for the rules.
Develop each classrooms rules collaboratively by the teacher and students to reflect the
classrooms specific values, strengths and needs.
Brainstorm rules that meet students collective dreams, and enable them to define rules that
embody the communal class values.
Help students think through the rules that are most important to the classroom culture they
want to create. Limit the list to a few key rules; this is much more powerful than a long list of
dos and donts.
Frame the rules in positive language for students to focus on correct behaviors. This avoids
unintentionally suggesting or triggering negative behaviors.
40

Make the rules a centerpiece of the educational environment; have students create pictures,
slogans and other works to represent each one.
Make the rules a part of the teachers contract with the students. Invite students and their
families to sign the pledge.
Refer to the rules to hold students accountable for enforcing them. Utilize disruptive or
positive in-class experiences as teachable moments to remind students of the rules and their
support for them.
Provide opportunities for students to respectfully hold each other accountable for the rules.
This can be done, for example, through in-class discussions, hand signals that indicate a rule
has been broken, or infusing social-emotional learning lessons regarding specific rules into a
few lessons a month.
Revisit the rules periodically so that the correct ones can be reinforced, or to determine
whether adjustments are in order.
Clearly communicate that bullying will not be tolerated.

Relationships
Educators should strive to model appropriate behaviors and build healthy student-teacher
connections (DuPage County Schools, 2011). School connectedness is defined as the belief by
students that adults and peers in the school care about their learning as well as about them as
individuals. School connectedness is a powerful predictor of and is associated with positive
adolescent health and academic outcomes, student satisfaction and reduced conduct problems,
and is a protective factor against risky sexual, violent and drug use behaviors.
The amount of connectedness to school experienced by students appears to be consistently
associated with predictions of their likelihood of aggression and victimization (Wilson, 2004).
For middle school and high school students, safe, caring and responsive school climates tend to
foster greater attachment to school and provide the optimal foundation for social-emotional and
academic learning (Blum, Mc Nelly and Rinehart, 2002). While most elementary students feel
connected to their schools, school connectedness generally begins to decline during the middle
school years. By high school, as many as 40-60% of all urban, suburban and rural youth report
being disconnected from their schools (Monahan, et al., 2010).
Teaching and Learning
A positive school climate promotes cooperative learning, group cohesion, respect and mutual
trust, and directly improves the learning environment. Provided below are key findings on the
relationship between the conditions of learning and student performance:
Teacher support is integral to student achievement. Research reports indicate that the studentteacher relationship in kindergarten is related to later academic and behavioral outcomes for
students. If a teacher is negative and engages in conflict with students in kindergarten, it is
more likely that the student will have behavioral and academic problems in later grades
(Skinner and Belmont, 1993).
When teachers support and interact positively with students, students are more likely to be
engaged and behave appropriately (Skinner and Belmont, 1993).
Research reports indicate that the use of evidence-based character education programs lead to
higher academic achievement in elementary school (Morgan and Streb, 2001).

41

Evidence-based social and emotional learning programs have resulted in impressive gains in
achievement test scores and in increasing the academic focus of elementary and middle
school students (Morgan and Streb, 2001).
Implementing learning activities beyond the classroom is an effective way to incorporate
civic education into a school; these activities promote student learning (Morgan and Streb,
2001).
Service learning projects promote civic education by teaching students ways to apply
classroom material to real-life situations. When students are given ownership and choice in
their service learning projects, there is evidence that these students experience gains in their
self-concepts and their tolerance for diversity (Morgan and Streb, 2001).
Teaching in a supportive style, which includes using encouragement, providing opportunities
to excel, encouraging questions, fostering independent thinking and providing individual
attention enhances the classroom climate.
Encouraging and supporting the development of interpersonal skills, such as conflict
resolution, empathy, ethical decision making, and personal responsibility, helps students to
succeed in life (National School Climate Center, 2011).
Respecting individual differences in all areas, including race, culture, gender and sexual
orientation at every level of the school, including student-student, adult-student and adultadult interactions promotes self-esteem and increases tolerance (National School Climate
Center, 2011).
When teachers feel supported by both the principal and their peers they are more committed
to their profession (National School Climate Center, 2011).
Establishing a positive school climate also is associated with the development of teachers
beliefs that they can positively affect student learning (National School Climate Center,
2011).

Institutional Environment
The size and physical layout of a school can affect students feelings about safety. In schools
that have a positive institutional environment:
Staff, students and families experience a positive connection to the school and participate in
many different aspects of school life.
Classrooms and all physical structures and facilities are neat, clean and appealing.
Staff and students have adequate resources and materials.
There is an effort to form smaller learning communities as a way to improve the school
learning environment; smaller schools are positively correlated to school connectedness, but
school size is not the only way to improve the learning environment.
School administrators communicate a clear vision for the school and strive to successfully
implement the vision.
Administrators are accessible, committed to staff development and supportive of staff
members.
Professional relationships are characterized by supportive attitudes, positive interactions and
effectiveness.
Upstander Support

42

Use classroom meetings, school assemblies and conversations with individual students to teach
them strategies for supporting victims of bullying. Bystanders can be empowered to take action
by:
Understanding that bystanders silence makes aggressive students more powerful and
contributes to the harm done to the target.
Modeling the desired, positive bystander behavior.
Protecting bystanders from retaliation.
Discouraging bystanders from confronting aggressive youth directly about their behavior,
and helping them find safer and more effective interventions.
Encouraging bystanders to tell adults about cruel behavior they witness.
Helping bystanders find ways to be friendly toward targets of bullying and isolated peers.
Collaborating with Parents
Parents can be included in bullying prevention by:
Advising them that the ABR mandates parental involvement on the School Safety Team, in
the development and annual review of the board of educations HIB policy, and in the annual
assessment of HIB prevention programs, approaches and other initiatives.
Advising them of the board of educations HIB policies and the code of student conduct.
Maintaining open, honest communication about bullying and other issues of concern.
Holding a parents night to discuss bullying.
Encouraging them to become involved in developing a community-wide strategy to address
bullying.
Facilitating parental participation through the provision of transportation, snacks, child care
and accessible venues (e.g., neighborhood church, community center) that often result in
increased attendance.
Whole School Approach
Recognize that bullying prevention must occur in the broader school environment (e.g., on the
bus, on the playground, at school-sponsored functions, in the lunchroom) by:
Maintaining adult supervision in known hot spots, (e.g., the lunchroom, the playground,
the hallways, the stairwells, the locker room, the lavatories, the bus, the parking lot).
Being aware of bullying risk and protective factors.
Modeling positive interactions.
Identifying and reporting witnessed or reported incidents of bullying, as required under the
ABR and the board of educations HIB policy.

43

BEST PRACTICES FOR SCHOOL STAFF IN BULLYING INTERVENTION


Signs That A Student Might Be Bullied
Providing safe classroom environments is an important part of the mission to reduce bullying.
Students should observe and recognize that teachers and staff are in control and that they care
about their students. An essential part of this role is recognizing bullying and understanding its
many shapes and forms (Olweus, 2011). Check for any of the following possible student
indicators of bullying. While these indicators might not be a sign of bullying or any other
problem, staff should pursue whether bullying is a possible contributor (adapted from
http://www.stopbullying.gov):
Torn or dirty clothing or damaged books or other possessions;
Cuts, bruises or scratches;
Few, if any, friends or playmates;
Afraid to go to school, or complaints of headaches or stomach pains;
Not sleeping well or having bad dreams;
Lost interest in schoolwork;
Appearing sad, depressed or moody;
Seeming anxious or having poor self-esteem; and
Becoming quiet, sensitive or passive.
Signs That a Student Might Be a Bully
Bullying among students is aggressive behavior that is intentional. Being able to recognize the
characteristics of students who have the potential to bully also will help you to create a safe
classroom and school for students. Keeping an eye out for students with these characteristics
may help school staff prevent bullying or trigger your intervention as early as possible. Students
who bully their peers tend to (adapted from http://www.stopbullying.gov):
Be impulsive, aggressive or easily angered;
Have a strong need to dominate;
Show defiance and aggression towards adults, including teachers and parents;
Be easily frustrated;
Lack empathy toward students who are bullied;
Have difficulty following rules;
Be involved in other antisocial or rule-breaking activities, such as vandalism, delinquency
and substance abuse; or
View violence and the use of violence in a positive way.
Bullying Intervention Strategies
To reduce bullying, research reports indicate that an important component of a school-wide
approach is classroom intervention. These research findings indicate that educators might not
recognize students identified by their peers as students who bully
(http://www.stopbullyingnow.com). School staff should be able to identify the warning signs
(see above) and consistently intervene when HIB occurs, which establishes the norm that
bullying is not acceptable behavior (DuPage County Schools, 2011). If a bullying situation is not
handled appropriately, the response can inadvertently promote, rather than reduce bullying.

44

Provided below are strategies for intervening with bullying (adapted from
http://www.stopbullying.gov):
Respond in the moment.
o Manage the situation and ensure student safety;
o Stop the bullying immediately. Stand between the bully and the bullied, preferably
blocking eye contact between them;
o Do not send any students away especially bystanders;
o Do not immediately ask about or discuss the reason for the bullying incident; and
o Do not try to sort out the facts at this point in time.
Support the bullied student in a way that allows him or her to regain self-control, to save face
and to feel supported and safe from retaliation.
o Make a point to talk with the student later in private, particularly if he or she is upset, to
explore the incident. However, do not have the same conversation at the time of the
incident. It can be very uncomfortable to be questioned in front of other students,
particularly when the student already has been victimized and frequently only wants to
get away;
o Let the victims teachers know about the incident so that they can provide additional
support and protection, as appropriate;
o Use short-term environmental arrangements, such as a seating or a schedule change, to
separate the victim from the bully; and
o Increase supervision to assure that the bullying is not repeated and does not escalate.
Include bystanders in the conversation.
o Give bystanders guidance on appropriate interventions or ways to get help next time;
o Do not put bystanders on the spot to publicly explain their observations;
o Use a calm, supportive voice to let them know that you noticed their inaction, or that you
are pleased with the way they tried to help; and
o If they did not act, encourage them to take a more active, pro-social role next time.
Stay alert to possible continued HIB incidents by using active supervision strategies.
o Move around the area to increase your exposure and proximity to students;
o Routinely scan for possible problems or incidents; and
o Interact with students regularly to establish rapport.
Make it a teachable moment to help bystanders understand the events and their
implications.
o Restate and clarify behavioral expectations, i.e. We support, defend and care for each
other here!;
o Reference school rules and the code of student conduct;
o Escort or refer students to the office; and
o Give them specific suggestions for these behaviors the next time they observe an HIB
incident, including the following:
Say STOP!;
Seek an adult for immediate help;
Report incidents of cyberbullying or rumors of potential confrontation;
45

Encourage other students to walk away;


Follow the schools reporting procedures; and
Victim Support
School staff should consider developing screening processes to better understand the victims
point of view and determine appropriate interventions to improve the effectiveness, relevance
and efficiency of bullying interventions and supports for the victim. A screening process could
include the following (adapted from http://www.stopbullying.gov):
A review of academic records and, if applicable, the Individualized Education Program
(I.E.P.);
An interview with the student;
Student-completed checklists or rating scales;
Observations of settings and situations where bullying is known to occur; and
Intervention and supports might include
o Altering Environmental Arrangements, such as changing student seating or schedules and
positioning staff in the vicinity of predictable bullying incidents.
o Providing social skills instruction, including assertiveness skills, empowerment skills and
responding in moment.
o Providing assistance in reading or interpreting social signals, building self-esteem or
identifying friends and classmates who can give them support.
o Increasing positive contact with adults, such as setting up dedicated meeting times and
providing mentoring.
o Encouraging relationship building and peer supports, including the use of active listening
skills, empathy and problem solving, and having peers provide support to vulnerable or
victimized students.

46

BEST PRACTICES FOR SCHOOL STAFF IN CORRECTING HIB


The ABR requires boards of education to establish a range of responses to HIB incidents, and
the principal and ABS to appropriately apply these responses. The responses must include
remedial actions provided for and consequences imposed on a student or a staff member who
commits an act of HIB against a student. Appropriate consequences and remedial actions are
those that are graded according to the severity of the offenses, consider the developmental ages
of the student offenders and students histories of inappropriate behaviors, per the code of
student conduct and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student or staff member who commit one or
more acts of HIB may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including
suspension or expulsion, as set forth in the board of education approved code of student conduct.
Additionally, remedial measures should be designed to correct the problem behavior; prevent
another occurrence of the problem; protect and provide support for the victim of the act; and take
correction for documented systemic problems related to HIB. While consequences and remedial
actions typically are different, they can overlap and have complementary purposes: modifying
bullying behavior. The following factors should be considered when determining consequences:
Student Considerations
Age, developmental and maturity levels of the involved parties involved and their
relationship to the school district;
Degree of harm;
Surrounding circumstances;
Nature and severity of the behaviors;
Incidences of past or continuing patterns of behavior;
Relationships among the involved parties; and
Context in which the alleged events occurred.
School Considerations
School culture, climate and general staff management of the learning environment;
Social, emotional and behavioral supports;
Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;
Family, community and neighborhood situations; and
Alignment with policy and procedures.
The following personal and environmental factors should be considered when determining
remedial measures:
Personal
Life skill deficiencies;
Social relationships;
Strengths;
Talents;
Interests;
Hobbies;
Extra-curricular activities;
Classroom participation;
47

Academic performance; and


Relationship to students and the school district.

Environmental
School culture;
School climate;
Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;
General staff management of classrooms or other educational environments;
Staff ability to prevent and manage difficult or inflammatory situations;
Social-emotional and behavioral supports;
Social relationships;
Community activities; and
Family and neighborhood situations.
Consequences and remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, the examples listed
below:
Examples of Consequences
Admonishment;
Temporary removal from class;
Deprivation of privileges;
Classroom or administrative detention;
Referral to disciplinarian;
In school suspension;
After-school programs;
Out of school suspension (short-term or long-term);
Expulsion;
Report to law enforcement or other legal action; and
Bans from participating in school-district sponsored programs or being in school buildings or
on school grounds or staff disciplinary actions that are permitted under local bargaining unit
agreements, board of education policies and state law;
Examples of Remedial Measures
Personal - Student Exhibiting Bullying Behavior
o Develop a behavioral contract with the student. Ensure the student has voice in the
outcome and can identify ways he or she can solve the problem and change behaviors;
o Hold a parent conference to develop a family agreement to Ensure the parent and the student understands school rules and expectations;
Explain the long-term negative consequences of bullying on all involved; and
Establish the consequences if the bullying behavior continues;
o Meet with the school counselor, school social worker or school psychologist to Assess possible mental health issues;
Develop a learning plan that includes consequences and skill building;
Consider wrap-around support services; or
Provide additional social skill training, such as impulse control, anger management,
developing empathy and problem solving;
o Arrange for an apology, preferably written;
48

o Write a reflective essay to ensure the student understands the impact of his or her actions
on others;
o Have the student research and teach a lesson to the class about HIB, empathy or a similar
topic;
o Arrange for restitution (i.e., compensation, reimbursement, amends, repayment),
particularly when personal items were damaged or stolen;
o Explore age-appropriate restorative (i.e., healing, curative, recuperative) practices
o Conduct a follow-up conference with the student;
o Participate in a peer support group;
o Consider recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;
o Provide corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience;
o Implement supportive student interventions, including participation of the Intervention
and Referral Services team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;
o Conduct a behavioral assessment or evaluation, including, but not limited to, a referral to
the Child Study Team, as appropriate;
o Implement a behavioral management plan, with benchmarks that are closely monitored;
o Assign leadership responsibilities (e.g., hallway monitor, bus monitor);
o Involve school disciplinarian;
o Arrange alternative placements;
o Provide student counseling; and
o Refer for student treatment or therapy.

Personal Target/Victim
o Meet with trusted staff member to:
Explore feelings about the incident; and
Develop a plan to ensure students emotional and physical safety at school.
o Meet with guidance counselor or social worker to:
Ensure the student does not feel responsible for the behavior;
Ask the student to log behaviors in the future; and
Develop skills and strategies to resist bullying.
o Conduct follow-up conference with student.

Parents, Family and Community


o Develop a family agreement;
o Refer for family counseling; and
o Provide parent education workshops related to HIB and social-emotional learning.

Environmental (Classroom, School Building or School District)


o Administer school and community surveys or other strategies for determining the
conditions contributing to HIB;
o Engage in school culture change;
o Improve school climate;
o Increase supervision in hot spots (e.g., locker rooms, hallways, playgrounds, cafeterias,
school perimeter, busses);
o Adopt evidence-based, systemic HIB prevention programs;
o Revise school policy and procedures;
49

o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Modify schedules or transportation routes;


Adjust hallway traffic;
Supervise the student before and after school, including school transportation;
Use monitors in a targeted locations (e.g., hallway, cafeteria, locker room, playground,
school perimeter, bus);
Assign teacher aides or adult shadows to protect the student;
Conduct small or large group presentations for fully addressing the behaviors and the
responses to the behaviors;
Provide general professional development programs for certificated and non-certificated
staff to teach effective prevention and intervention skills and strategies;
Implement professional development plans for involved staff;
Impose disciplinary sanctions for school staff who contributed to the problem;
Implement supportive institutional interventions, including participation of the
Intervention and Referral Services team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;
Conduct parent conferences;
Communicate behavioral expectations to students, parents and students;
Refer for family counseling;
Involve parent-teacher organizations;
Involve community-based organizations;
Develop a general HIB response plan;
Consider the recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;
Participate in peer support groups;
Arrange alternative placements;
Provide for school transfers; and
Involve law enforcement (e.g., safe schools resource officer, juvenile officer) or take
other appropriate legal action.

School Climate and Culture


The ABR requires that the programs, approaches or other initiatives implemented by school staff
to create school-wide conditions for preventing and addressing HIB must be annually assessed
involving school staff and administrators, students, volunteers, parents and other community
members, including law enforcement. Additionally, the purpose of the School Safety Team is to
foster a positive school climate by focusing on the ongoing, systematic practices in the school,
and to address school climate issues such as HIB. The overall school climate and school culture
and the individual and institutional factors that contribute to climate and culture might overtly or
inadvertently support bullying behaviors; these factors always should be considered in the
response to an act of bullying.
It is the responsibility of the adult staff to use violations of the school rules as opportunities
to help students understand consequences for poor choices and behaviors, improve their social
and emotional skills and accept personal responsibility for their learning environment. The ABR
empowers school staff to use the new requirements to strengthen positive student behavior and
the conditions of learning that support these behaviors.

50

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Birdthistle, I. et al., Violence Prevention: An Important Element of a Health-Promoting School,
World Health Organization, Information Series on School Health #3, Geneva, Switzerland, 1999.
Blum, R.W., Mc Neely, C.A., & Rinehart, P.M. (2002). Improving the odds: The untapped
power of schools to improve the health of teens. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Center
for Adolescent Health and Development.
Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association with Psychosocial
Adjustment, Journal of the American Medical Association, April 25, 2001-v. 285, #16.
California Safe Schools Coalition, Safe Schools Research Brief # 10, 2003-2005.
Center for Social and Emotional Education, School Climate Brief, VOl.1, School Climate
Research Summary, January, 2010.
Devine, J. and Cohen, J. (2007). Making your school safe: Strategies to protect children and
promote learning. New York: Teachers College Press.
DuPage County Anti-Bullying Model Policy and Best Practices, Wheaton, Il., 2011.
http://www.dupage.k12.il.us/main/anti-bullying/best_practices_manual.shtml
Elias, Maurice, 2005. Developing Safe and Civil Schools Project: A Social and Emotional
Learning Initiative, A Program of the Rutgers University Social-Emotional Learning Lab.
EvidenceBased Program Databases (See the section of this publication titled Evidence-Based
Program Databases in Chapter 6, Resources on Bullying).
Farrington, D.P. and Ttofi, M.M. (2010) School-based Programs to Reduce Bullying and
Victimization, www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/229377.
GLSEN, 2009. The 2009 National School Climate Survey: Executive Summary. NY:GLSEN.
Retrieved from http://GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/File/000/001/1676-2.PDF www.glsen.org.
Gottfredson, Gary D.; Gottfredson, Denise C.; Czeh, Ellen R.; Cantor, David; Crosse, Scott B.;
Hantman, Irene; National Study of Delinquency Prevention in Schools, Final Report, 2000.
Gottfredson Associates, Inc., 3239 B Corporate Court, Ellicott City, MD 21042,
http://www.gottfredson.com.
Hamburger, ME, Vivolo, A.M., Measuring Bullying Victimization, Perpetration and Bystander
Experiences: A Compendium of Assessment Tools, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
2011, http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/measuring_bullying.html.
Maine Governors Childrens Cabinet, Maines Best Practices in Bullying and Harassment
Prevention: A Guide for Schools and Communities, 2006, 170 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0170, http://www.stopbullyingnow.com/mainebestpractices.pdf.
51

Marshall, M., Examining School Climate: Defining Factors and Educational Influences, Center
for Research on School Climate and Classroom Management, Georgia state University, North
Central Regional Laboratory, 2004.
Model Policy and Guidance for Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying on School
Property, At School Functions, and on School Buses (Revised April 2011) available at
www.state.nj.us/education/parents/bully.htm.
Monahan, Kathryn, Oesterle, Sabrina, and Hawkins, David J., Predictors and Consequences of
School Connectedness: The Case for Prevention, The Prevention Researcher, v 17(3), September
2010.
Morgan, W., & Streb, M. (March, 2001). Building citizenship: How student voice in servicelearning develops civic values. SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY, 82(1), 155169.
National School Climate Center, 545 8th Avenue, RM 930, New York, NY 10018. Retrieved and
adapted from http://www.schoolclimate.org/guidelines/schoolclimateimprovement.php, 2011.
NJ Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention, www.nj bullying.org.
NJ Coalition Against Sexual Violence, www.njcasa.org/content/prevention-strategies.
NJDOE Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Complaint Procedures and Investigation
Protocols, 2010.
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Hazelden Publishing, 15251 Pleasant Valley Road, P.O.
Box 176, Center City, MN 55012-0176, http://www.hazelden.org/web/go/olweus, 2011.
Olweus, Dan, Bullying at School: Basic Facts and Effects of a School-Based Intervention
Program, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, October, 1994, 35,
7, 1171-1190.
San Antonio, Donna M. and Salzfass, Elizabeth A., How We Treat One Another in School,
Educational Leadership, Volume 64, Number 8, May 2007, p. 32-38.
Skinner, E. A., and Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of
teacher behavior and student engagement across the school year. JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL
PSYCHOLOGY, 85(4), 571-581.
Stop Bullying, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in partnership with the Department
of Education and Department of Justice, retrieved and adapted from
http://www.stopbullying.gov/, 2011.
Stop Bullying Now, Stan Davis, 409 North Wayne Road, Wayne, ME 04284, retrieved and
adapted from http://stopbullyingnow.com/contact_us.html, 2011.
52

Swearer, S.M., Espleage, D.L. and Napolitano, Bullying Prevention and Intervention: Realistic
Strategies for Schools, New York, The Guilford Press, 2009.
U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP Fact Sheet, Addressing the Problem of Juvenile Bullying,
Ericson, Nels 2001).
Vreeman, R.C. and Carroll, A.E., A Systematic r\Review of School-Based Interventions to
Prevent Bullying, Archives of Pediatric Medicine, 161(1), 78-88, 2007.
Waasdorp, T., Pas E.T,C.P., OBrennan, L.M. and Bradshaw, C.P.A, Multilevel Perspective on
the Climate of Bullying Discrepancies Among Students, School Staff, and Parents, Journal of
School Violence (2011), 10 (2), 115-132.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes, Bullying and The Child with Special Needs, Ability Path.org.,2010.
What Works in Prevention: Principles of Effective Prevention Programs, Nation et al. American
Psychologist, 2003 Jun-Jul; 58(6-7): 449-56.
Wilson, D. (2004). The interface of school climate and school connectedness and relationships
with aggression and victimization. Journal of School Health. 74(7), 293-299.

53

CHAPTER 3
PETITIONING THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION
TO HEAR AND DECIDE DISPUTES CONCERNING N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13 et seq.
The New Jersey Department of Educations (NJDOE) Office of Controversies and Disputes
assists the Commissioner in using the process established by the Administrative Procedure Act
(http://www.state.nj.us/oal/general.html) to hear and decide disputes under the State school laws
(http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/law.htm), which includes N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13 et seq. A
controversy or dispute under the State school laws arises when one party alleges that another has
violated:
State statutes governing education (Title 18A, found at http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgibin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=228445&Depth=2&depth=2&expandheadings=on&headingswith
hits=on&hitsperheading=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&record={754C}&softpage=Doc_Frame
_PG42); or
Rules of the State Board of Education (http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/).
The allegations are generally as a result of different views of the meaning and application of the
law, and one party seeks a legal ruling from the Commissioner resolving the dispute.
Typical parties in school law disputes are parents, who may file on their own behalf and/or on
behalf of their minor children; adult students; school officials and employees; boards of
education and board members; charter schools; private schools for the handicapped; and, in cases
where decisions of NJDOE officials are appealed to the Commissioner, the State Department of
Education. Common types of cases include disputes about student discipline (including for
harassment, intimidation and bullying), student residency/domicile status, tenure/seniority
claims, tenure charges, actions of local boards of education, certain decisions of the New Jersey
State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), and final decisions on penalties
recommended by the School Ethics Commission upon finding that school officials have violated
the School Ethics Act.
What types of matters are not handled through Controversies and Disputes?
Disagreement with a Local Board of Education Disagreement with a local board of
education, in the absence of allegations that the law is being violated, does not create a viable
dispute before the Commissioner. When a board exercises its discretion and takes action
within the scope of authority granted it by statute or rule, unless a petitioner can demonstrate
on appeal that the boards action was taken without rational basis or in bad faith, or was
contrary to law, the Commissioner may not substitute his judgment for that of the board and
must uphold the boards action.
Day-to-Day Issues Many day-to-day issues commonly concerning parents, students and the
public are not appropriate for judicial-type hearings and legal rulings at the State level and
are best pursued through the local school district administration and board of education
(http://www.state.nj.us/education/directory). Where problems or questions persist, assistance
with resolution may be available through the office of the Executive County Superintendent
of Schools (http://www.state.nj.us/education/counties/).
Complaints about School Personnel Complaints about school personnel are not generally
heard as disputes before the Commissioner of Education. In New Jersey, hiring, evaluating,
disciplining, and deciding whether to retain the services of teaching staff members rest with
54

the local school district administration and board of education rather than the State. The
Commissioners role in such matters is limited to adjudication of any school law disputes that
may arise under the particular circumstances, such as deciding tenure charges in accordance
with N.J.S.A. 18A 6-10 et seq., if certified by the board, or hearing any appeal by the filer of
the charges, if the board voted not to certify them. Similarly, any action against a teaching
staff members license, other than suspension for resignation on insufficient notice, must be
requested through the State Board of Examiners
(http://www.nj.gov/education/educators/license/sbe.htm), not the Commissioner
Special Education Disputes Disputes arising under the laws governing special education
are pursued through the NJDOEs Office of Special Education
(http://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/).
School Ethics Complaints Complaints against school officials under the School Ethics Act
are pursued through the School Ethics Commission
(http://www.state.nj.us/education/ethics/).
Elementary and Secondary Education Act Complaints Complaints under the federal
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind Act - NCLB) are handled
in accordance with the NJDOEs NCLB complaint policy
(http://www.nj.gov/education/grants/nclb/issues/complaint_policy.htm).
Compliance Investigation Matters appropriate for NJDOE investigation or audit, such as
overspent budgets, financial malfeasance, and compliance with criminal history record check
laws, are best directed to the NJDOEs Office of Compliance Investigation
(http://www.state.nj.us/education/genfo/faq/faq_oci.htm).

How do I initiate an appeal to the Commissioner of Education?


Before initiating an appeal to the Commissioner, a petitioner must generally have pursued
available rights of appeal at lower levels, including the local board of education. If still
aggrieved, a party may appeal to the Commissioner within 90 days (less where a specific law so
requires) of receipt of notice of final action, by filing a Petition of Appeal with the NJDOEs
Office of Controversies and Disputes according to the procedures detailed in N.J.A.C. 6A:3-1.1.
et seq. (http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap3.pdf).
These rules require the following information, in the form of a petition as described at N.J.A.C.
6A:3-1.4:
Name, address, telephone number and, if available, fax number of both the petitioner and the
respondent (generally, the board of education);
The specific allegation(s), and the facts supporting them, which constitute the basis of the
controversy;
A statement of the relief which the petitioner is seeking; and
The signature of petitioner, or his/her attorney, if applicable.
Additionally, the petitioner must write or type the statement contained in N.J.A.C. 6A:3-1.4
attesting to the truthfulness of the allegations set forth in the Petition of Appeal; the statement
must be signed by petitioner and notarized. Finally, the petitioner must serve a copy of the
petition on each respondent and must submit to the NJDOEs Office of Controversies and
Disputes, with the Petition of Appeal, proof that each respondent was served (i.e., the petition
was mailed or delivered). Such proof may be in any one of the following forms:
55

An acknowledgment of service (mailing or delivering the petition) signed by the attorney for
the respondent, or signed and acknowledged by the board of education or its agent;
A sworn affidavit of the person making service;
A certificate of service signed by the attorney making service; or
A receipt (or copy) of certified mailing to the board of educations secretary or the board of
educations attorney.

How do I request emergency relief in an appeal to the Commissioner of Education?


If relief is sought on an emergency basis, in addition to the information explained above the
petitioner must file a motion accompanied by a memorandum addressing the standard for
granting such relief pursuant to Crowe v. DeGioia, 90 N.J. 126 (1982); see N.J.A.C. 6A:3-1.6.
This means the petitioner must demonstrate that:
The petitioner will suffer irreparable harm if the requested relief is not granted;
The legal right underlying petitioners claim is settled;
The petitioner has a likelihood of prevailing on the merits of the underlying claim; and
When the equities and interests of the parties are balanced, the petitioner will suffer greater
harm than the respondent will suffer if the requested relief is not granted.
Please note that unless other applicable law provides a shorter time frame there is a 90-day
filing deadline for petitions of appeal, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:3-1.3(i), and that efforts to resolve
a matter informally do not generally absolve petitioners from compliance with this deadline, and
failure to observe it may result in dismissal of a petition. Also note that submissions received
after the close of NJDOE business at 4:15 p.m. will be deemed filed the next business day.
Papers are to be submitted to the following address:
Commissioner of Education
c/o Director of Office of Controversies and Disputes
New Jersey State Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625
With the prior permission of the Office of Controversies and Disputes and up to a limit of 10
pages, a petition may also be faxed to (609) 292-4333, with the hard copy to follow by mail.
Questions may be directed to the Office of Controversies and Disputes at (609) 292-5705.
What happens after an appeal is filed?
Filing a Petition of Appeal initiates a contested case proceeding where the petitioner will bear
the burden of proving the allegations made in the petition through presentation of evidence and
argument. In most cases, the alleged violator (respondent) will be required to answer the
petitioners allegations within 20 days, and the matter will be sent to the Office of Administrative
Law (OAL) for hearing of testimony and argument and consideration of evidence by an
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (52:14B1). At the conclusion of OAL proceedings, the ALJ issues an initial decision recommending
findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Commissioner.
The initial decision and entire case record are then sent to the Commissioner, who has 45 days
56

from the filing of the initial decision to review the matter, receive exceptions from the parties,
and issue a final decision adopting, rejecting or modifying the initial decision of the ALJ. The
ALJs decision is, in itself, of no force and effect, but final Commissioner decisions have the
force of law unless stayed or reversed on appeal.
If a party is dissatisfied with the Commissioners decision, can it be appealed?
Yes. Prior to enactment of P.L. 2008, c. 36 on July 7, 2008, Commissioner decisions other
than appeals from New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) decisions and
NJDOE determinations in certain matters involving Abbott districts, which were, by law,
appealable directly to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court could be appealed to the
State Board of Education and thereafter to the courts. As of July 7, 2008, however, all
Commissioner decisions are final agency decisions appealable to the Appellate Division of the
Superior Court.
How many cases are filed each year? Where can I find past Commissioner decisions?
Between 500 and 600 Petitions of Appeal are filed most years. Many of these are withdrawn or
resolved by settlement, but many others result in substantive decisions of the Commissioner.
Substantive Commissioner decisions issued since mid-1997 are available on the NJDOEs
Website at New Jersey School Law (http://www.state.nj.us/education/legal/index.html), as is
information about where to find earlier decisions.

57

CHAPTER 4
APPEALING FINAL COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION DECISIONS
TO THE APPELLATE DIVISION OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
The Appellate Division of the Superior Court is New Jersey's intermediate Appellate Court. It is
comprised of 35 judges who sit in two and three judge panels chosen from parts consisting of
four or five judges. Appellate Division judges hear appeals from decisions of the trial courts, the
Tax Court and State administrative agencies. The Appellate Division decides 6,500 to 7,000
appeals and approximately 7,500 motions each year.
Procedure
There is a four-step process for appealing Commissioner of Education determinations to the
Appellate Division of the Superior Court, which includes matters that pertain to the
implementation of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act:
Chief School Administrator Decision First, the chief administrator of a school district or a
lead person of a charter school must render a decision on a harassment, intimidation and
bullying case.
Board of Education Determination Second, the school board or governing authority must
either decide to accept, reject or modify the chief school administrators or charter school
lead persons decision.
Commissioner of Education Appeal Third, the Commissioner of Education must render a
decision on an appeal of the chief school administrators or board of educations decision(s).
Appellate Division Fourth, an appeal of the Commissioner of Educations decision may be
filed with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court for a ruling.
Instructions and Forms
The Appellate Division may not take any action in a case until it has obtained jurisdiction in the
matter. With few exceptions, the Appellate Division does not have jurisdiction unless a notice of
appeal or a motion for leave to appeal has been filed. Instructions and forms for filing either a
notice of appeal or a motion for leave to appeal can be found in the pro se kit and other materials
located at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/appdiv/forms/forms.htm, and in the Rules Governing
the Courts of the State of New Jersey (the Court Rules can be found at
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/rules/). The pro se kit found at
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/appdiv/forms/10837_appl_prose_kit.pdf contains the following
items.
A cover letter;
Appellate Division Practice Checklist;
Instructions for completing the forms;
Notice of Appeal form;
Prescribed Transcript Request form;
Civil Case Information Statement form;
Criminal Case Information Statement form;
Notice of Motion form; and
Certified Statement in Support of Motion for Leave to Proceed as an Indigent form.
Before a party begins completing the forms mentioned above, the information below and the
58

material referenced above should be carefully reviewed. It is suggested that when reviewing the
Appellate Division Practice Checklist (http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/appdiv/forms/forms.htm),
you note especially the time limits for serving and filing documents and how these time limits
apply to your case. An appeal may be filed as of right from a final agency decision within 45
days from the date of service of the decision or notice of the action taken. An appeal is properly
filed by the timely submission of a notice of appeal, case information statement and transcript
request form.
While the pro se kit (http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/appdiv/forms/10837_appl_prose_kit.pdf) is
not intended to be a comprehensive guide to practice and procedures in the Appellate Division,
the information and forms contained therein should be helpful in the preparation of the
documents that a party will need in order to proceed with an appeal.
Consideration should be given to obtaining the assistance of an attorney, since an appeal can be a
complex, legal proceeding. Even if it is found that completing the forms is not a difficult task,
please be aware that the level of assistance that the Clerk's office has provided through these
detailed instructions does not continue throughout the course of an appeal. The Clerk's office
cannot assist with the legal research that may be needed before writing can begin on an appellate
brief; nor assist with assembling the documents that will be needed for the appendix; nor assist
with drafting the procedural history, statement of facts, and legal arguments that will be required
in the appellate brief. The assistance of the Clerk's office, to attorneys and to pro se litigants
alike, is limited to procedural matters, i.e., information concerning the Court Rules and practice
and procedure. The Clerks office cannot provide any assistance or legal advice as to the issues,
arguments or merits of an appeal.
Legal Assistance
If the party cannot afford to pay for an attorney in a civil matter, he or she may be able to obtain
legal assistance from the Legal Aid office in the partys county.
Fees
A $200 filing fee is required when filing a notice of appeal, and a $30 filing fee is required
when filing a motion for leave to appeal. Once an appellant has paid the filing fee, there is no
fee required for filing a motion while the appeal is open. Please note, however, that any
motion made after a case is closed must be accompanied by a $30 filing fee.
In addition, if an appeal is being made of a final judgment, order or decision, a deposit for
transcripts in the amount of $500 for each day or fraction of a day of trial or hearing is to be paid,
pursuant to Court Rule 2:5-3. This fee is paid to the court reporter that was present at the
proceedings in question or, in the case of sound recorded proceedings, to the clerk of the court or
agency in which those proceedings took place.
Assistance
Although an Appellate Division Practice Checklist is provided at
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/appdiv/forms/forms.htm, please bear in mind that during the
course of the appeal, it will very likely become necessary for the party to consult the full text of
the Court Rules and the cases construing the Court Rules. Copies of the Court Rules are
59

available in the State Library in Trenton, in the law libraries in the county courthouses, at some
county and municipal public libraries throughout the State and at
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/rules/.
If, after consulting the materials provided in the pro se kit and the Court Rules, you still have
questions concerning Appellate Division practice and procedure, you may contact the Appellate
Division Clerk's Office at (609) 292-4822 for assistance.

60

CHAPTER 5
THE DIVISION ON CIVIL RIGHTS:
JURISDICTION AND SERVICES
REGARDING HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING
The ABR requires this guidance document to include an explanation of the jurisdiction and
services of the Division on Civil Rights (DCR), New Jersey Department of Law and Public
Safety in regard to specific types of harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB). The
information on the Division on Civil Rights is provided below.
DCR JURISDICTION
Q1.
What is the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights regarding HIB of
students?
A.
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) is the state agency charged with
enforcing the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (known as the LAD),
N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49.
Q2.

Which schools are covered by the LAD?


A.
The protections for students under the LAD do not apply to any school that is
operated or maintained by a bona fide religious or sectarian institution. Except
for those religious schools, all public schools, charter schools, private schools,
technical or vocational schools, colleges and universities are required to comply
with the LAD.

Q3.

How does the LAD help to protect students against HIB?


A.
The LAD is a state statute that prohibits most schools (see Q2) from
discriminating against students based on race, creed, color, national origin,
ancestry, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and
disability. (As discussed below, although DCR is the state agency charged with
enforcement of the LAD, a student or parent may file a complaint directly with
the Superior Court of New Jersey, without first filing with DCR.)
Discrimination includes HIB that targets a student because of any of the
protected characteristics listed above. This is known as bias-based HIB.
The LAD requires covered schools to take appropriate action to prevent and
remediate harassment, intimidation and bullying that targets a student because of
his or her actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry,
nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.
When schools do not take appropriate preventative and remedial action, they may
be held responsible for bias-based HIB committed by students, school employees,
volunteers and by those contracted service providers who have significant contact
with students.
Discrimination is based on a perceived protected characteristic when the
perpetrator believes that the victim is a member of a LAD-protected group or has
61

a LAD-protected characteristic, even if that belief is wrong. For example,


harassing a heterosexual student using derogatory words or phrases commonly
associated with homosexuality may constitute discrimination based on perceived
sexual orientation. Similarly, harassing a non-Muslim student using anti-Muslim
comments may constitute discrimination based on perceived creed or religion.
Q4.

How does the LAD differ from the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act?
A.
The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act addresses HIB that targets a student because
of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation,
gender identity and expression, a mental physical or sensory disability, or
because of any other distinguishing characteristic. The LAD prohibits
harassment, intimidation or bullying that targets a student because of race, color,
religion, national origin, ancestry, nationality, sex, sexual orientation gender
identity or expression, or disability. The LAD does not cover harassment,
intimidation or bullying that targets a student because of any other distinguishing
characteristics.

Q5.

Does the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act change students protections or school
districts obligations under the LAD?
A.
No. The LAD has prohibited certain types of HIB since long before the
legislature enacted the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, and the new law did not
amend or change the LAD.
The new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act clarifies some rights and responsibilities
and establishes new procedures. Following these procedures should make it
easier to effectively prevent and remediate HIB. However, merely following the
new procedures will not automatically insulate a school or school district from
liability under the LAD, if the administration fails to take appropriate actions that
are reasonably calculated to end the specific types of bias-based HIB taking place.

Q7.

What does the LAD require a school administration to do regarding bias-based HIB?
A.
When school staff or administrators know, or should know, that bias-based HIB is
happening, the administration must take actions reasonably calculated to stop it.
The school or school district may be held liable under the LAD if the school
administration failed to take actions reasonably calculated to stop the HIB, AND
The conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive that a reasonable student of the
same age, maturity level and protected characteristic would find that the biasbased HIB created an intimidating, hostile or offensive school environment.

Q8.

Are people who report or complain about bias-based HIB in schools protected
from reprisal or retaliation?
A.
Yes. The LAD prohibits reprisal or retaliation against anyone who reports or
complains about bias-based HIB. The LAD also prohibits reprisal or retaliation

62

against anyone who assists someone else in reporting or complaining about biasbased HIB. Assisting someone else would include testifying at a hearing,
This means that it would violate the LAD for a school administrator, teacher,
coach, other staff member or school board member to take away privileges or take
any other adverse or negative action against anyone - student or adult - because he
or she has complained about or reported bias-based HIB.
Q9.

What can a student (or parent) do if he or she is being subjected to bias-based HIB?
A.
The student or parent should report the bias-based HIB to the school
administrators as soon as possible, and give them a reasonable opportunity to take
action to stop it. If more incidents of bias-based HIB occur after your first report,
you should report each new incident as soon as possible.

DCR SERVICES
The services provided by DCR regarding complaints of bias-based HIB are described below:
DCR accepts and files administrative complaints. If the school administration does not
remedy the situation within a reasonable amount of time after you have reported it, a student
may file a formal complaint against the school or school district to seek relief under the
LAD. (If the student is under age 18, the students parent may file the LAD complaint on
behalf of the student.)
If the school administration has initiated an investigation under the Anti-Bullying Bill of
Rights Act, in most cases it would be reasonable to delay filing a formal LAD complaint until
after the school administrators have completed their investigation, and have reported the
results of that investigation to you and to the local board of education.
A student or parent has two options for filing a LAD complaint:
Filing an administrative complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, or
Filing a complaint with the Superior Court of New Jersey. (If you choose to file your
complaint in Superior Court instead of filing with DCR, you should also mail a copy of your
complaint to DCR.) Additional information can be found in Chapter 4: Appealing Final
Commissioner of Education Decisions to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
In deciding whether to file a complaint with DCR or the Superior Court, you may wish to
consider factors such as the costs, and the procedures and remedies available in each forum.
There is no charge for filing a complaint with DCR, while the Superior Court charges filing fees.
A jury trial and the possibility of recovering punitive damages are only available in Superior
Court.
If you choose to file an administrative complaint, you should contact the nearest office of the
Division on Civil Rights:
Newark Regional Office:
(973) 648-2700
Trenton Regional Office:
(609) 292-4605
Camden Regional Office:
(856) 614-2550
Atlantic City Regional Office:
(609) 441-3100

63

An intake investigator will speak with you to determine whether your situation states a claim
under the LAD. If it does, the DCR will prepare a complaint for you to sign, and it will be filed
and sent to the school or school district.
More information about filing complaints is available on the DCR Website, which can be found
at www.NJCivilRights.gov.
TIME FRAMES
Time frames for filing a complaint with the DCR or the Superior Court of New Jersey follow:
If you choose to file a complaint with the DCR, it must be filed within 180 days of the most
recent act of bias-based HIB;
If you choose to file a complaint with the Superior Court, it must be filed within 2 years of
the most recent act of bias-based HIB.
As noted above, if the school administration has initiated an investigation under the AntiBullying Bill of Rights Act, in most cases you should delay filing a formal LAD complaint until
after the school administration has completed its investigation and reported the results of its
investigation to you and to the local board of education. That report would normally be issued
long before the end of the 180-day or 2-year limitations periods for filing a LAD complaint, but
if you are close to those deadlines and wish to file a LAD complaint, you should keep track of
the dates and make sure your complaint is filed before the deadline.
INVESTIGATION AND PROBABLE CAUSE DETERMINATION
The school or school district will file a written response to your complaint, and your complaint
will be assigned to a DCR investigator, who will conduct an investigation. During the
investigation, the investigator will gather information in a variety of ways, which may include
getting copies of written records and other documents, and interviewing you and other witnesses.
If the school administration has conducted an investigation under the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights
Act, the investigator also will review available documents related to that investigation.
During the investigation, the investigator will often attempt to negotiate a settlement between
you and the school or school district, with the intent of amicably resolving your complaint
without the need for a formal hearing.
If no settlement can be agreed upon, DCR will review the evidence gathered in the investigation,
and will determine whether there is probable cause to support the allegations of your complaint.
If the investigation shows enough evidence to support your complaint, the Director of the
Division on Civil Rights will issue a written report called a Finding of Probable Cause, and then
a hearing on your complaint will be held in the Office of Administrative Law.
If, instead, the evidence gathered in the investigation shows that the school administration met its
obligations under the LAD or that no actionable HIB under the LAD occurred, the Director of
the Division on Civil Rights will issue a written report summarizing the evidence, and will sign a
Finding of No Probable Cause, which dismisses your complaint.

64

Finding of Probable Cause and Prosecution of the Complaint


In cases in which the DCR Director has issued a Finding of Probable Cause, a State attorney will
prosecute the complaint on behalf of the DCR, unless you choose to hire a your own attorney to
represent you at the hearing,
At the hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will hear testimony from you and/or other
witnesses and will review documents and other evidence presented in support of your complaint
and evidence submitted in support of the school or school districts defenses. Based on the
evidence presented at the hearing, the ALJ will issue a written recommended decision.
Issuance of a Final Order on the Complaint
After receiving a copy of the ALJs recommended decision, both sides will have an opportunity
to submit written objections (called exceptions) to the Director of the DCR, who will make a
final decision on the complaint.
The Director of DCR will review the ALJs recommended decision and any exceptions
submitted by the parties, as well as the documents and other physical evidence the ALJ accepted
at the hearing. If the parties have provided all or part of a transcript of the OAL hearing, the
DCR Director also will review relevant portions of the hearing transcript. Based on all of the
evidence, the DCR Director will make a final decision on whether the evidence shows that the
school or school district failed to meet its obligations under the LAD, and if so the remedies that
should be ordered.
As remedies, the Director may order the school or school district to provide equitable relief (for
example, improving anti-bullying policies and procedures or providing staff training) and to pay
compensatory damages and your attorneys fees. The Director also may order the school or
school district to pay monetary penalties to the State Treasury. Punitive damages are only
available in Superior Court actions.
APPEALING A DCR FINAL AGENCY DETERMINATION TO THE APPELLATE
DIVISION OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
Q.10. Which decisions of the DCR Director can be appealed?
A.
A complainant may appeal a Finding of No Probable Cause. Either party may
appeal the Findings, Determination and Order (Final Order) issued by the DCR
Director after an OAL hearing.
Q11.

What is the time frame for filing an appeal?


A.
An appeal must be filed with the Appellate Division Clerks office within 45 days
of the date the party is served with the DCR Directors Final Order or Finding of
No Probable Cause.

Q12.

Will a State attorney be involved in an appeal?


A.
If the school or school district files an appeal of the DCR Directors Final Order, a
State attorney will represent DCR at the Appellate Division to the defend the
DCR Directors Final Order.

65

If the complainant wishes to appeal all or part of the DCR Directors Final Order
or Finding of No Probable Cause, he or she will need to retain his or her own
attorney to file and present the appeal, or the complainant may instead proceed
without an attorney (known as appearing pro se). When a complainant appeals
a Finding of No Probable Cause or a Final Order, a State attorney will defend the
DCR Directors Finding of No Probable Cause or Final Order.
The New Jersey Judiciarys Website provides information and forms for
proceeding at the Appellate Division without an attorney:
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/index.htm#appellate.
Additional information on the Appellate Division regarding appeals to final
Commissioner of Education decisions is provided in this publication in Chapter 5,
Appealing Final Commissioner of Education Decisions to the Appellate Division
of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

66

CHAPTER 6
RESOURCES ON BULLYING
These resources are presented only as a representation and not as an exhaustive selection or
review of materials available on the subject of bullying. Inclusion of these resources is not an
explicit or implied endorsement of the materials or organizations identified below, nor does it
signify verification or agreement with the information contained in the materials or the positions
or practices of the organizations or sources of information. These resources are presented only to
provide perspectives, options and contacts to assist with local decision making and responses to
bullying.
Understanding Bullying
Books
Bullying: A Handbook for Educators and Parents. Rivers, I., Duncan, N., and Besag, V. E.
(2009). Rowman & Littlefield Education, Lanham, MD.
Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Olweus, D. 1993. Cambridge, MA:
Blackwell.
Bullying Behavior: Current Issues, Research and Interventions. Geffner, R.A., Loring, M. and
Young, C. (Eds.) 2001. Haworh Press, New York.
School Bullying: Insights and Perspectives. Smith, P. K., and Sharp, S. (1994). London:
Routledge.
The Truth about Bullying: What Educators and Parents Must Know and Do. Urbanski, J. and
Permuth, S. (2009). Rowman & Littlefield Education, Lanham, MD.
Articles
Ahmad, Y., and Smith, P. K. (1994). Bullying in schools and the issue of sex differences. In John
Archer (Ed.), Male Violence. London: Routledge.
Batsche, G. M., & Knoff, H. M. (1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive
problem in the schools. School Psychology Review, 23(2), 165-174.
Birkett, M., Espelage, D. L., & Koenig, B. (2009). LGB and questioning students in schools: The
moderating effects of homophobic bullying and school climate on negative outcomes. Journal of
Youth and Adolescence, 38(7), 989-1000.
Charach, A., Pepler, D., & Ziegler, S. (1995). Bullying at school--a Canadian perspective: A
survey of problems and suggestions for intervention. Education Canada, 35(1), 12-18.
Crick, N. Wellman, N. Casas, J., Obrien, K.Nelson, D.Grotpeter, J. et al. (1999) Childhood
aggression and gender: A new look at an old problem. In D. Bernstein (Ed.), Nebraska
Symposium on Motivation (Vol. 45). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

67

Crick, N.R., & Grotpeter, J.K. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological
adjustment. Child Development, 66, 710-722.
Cummings J, Pepler D, Mishna F, Craig W. Bullying and victimization among students with
exceptionalities. Exceptionality Education Canada (2006) 16(3):193222.
Duncan, A. (1996). The Shared Concern Method for Resolving Group Bullying in Schools,
Educational Psychology in Practice, 12(2), 84-98.
Elinoff, M.J., Chafouleas, S.M., & Sassu, K.A. (2004). Bullying: Considerations for defining and
intervening in school settings. Psychology in the Schools, 41(8), 887-897.
Espelage, D. L., Aragon, S. R., & Birkett, M. (2008). Homophobic teasing, psychological
outcomes, and sexual orientation among high school students: What influence do parents and
schools have? School Psychology Review, 37(2), 202-216.
Gershel, J.C., Katz-Sidlow, R.J., Small, E., & Zandieth, S. (2003). Hazing of suburban middle
school and highschool athletes. Society for Adolescent Medicine, 32, 333-335.
Griffin, R.S., & Gross, A.M. (2004). Childhood bullying: Current empirical findings and future
directions for research. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 9, 379-400.
Haynie, D. L., Nansel, T., Eitel, P., Crump, A. D., Saylor, K., Yu, K., & Simons-Morton, B.
(2001). Bullies, victims, and bully/victims: Distinct groups of at-risk youth. The Journal of
Early Adolescence, 21(1), 29-49.
Herba, C. M., Ferdinand, R. F.; Stijnen, T., Veenstra, R., Oldehinkel, A. J., Ormel, J., Verhulst,
F. C. (2008) Victimization and Suicide Ideation in the TRAILS Study: Specific Vulnerabilities
of Victims, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(8) 867-876.
Hunt, C. (2007). The effect of an education program on attitudes and beliefs about bullying and
bullying behavior in junior secondary school students. Child and Adolescent Mental Health,
12(1), 21-26.
Klomek, A. B., Marrocco, F., Kleinman, M., Schonfeld, I. S., Gould, M. S. (2007). Bullying,
Depression, and Suicidality in Adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and
Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(1) 40.
Loeber, R. and Dishion, T. (1983). Early Predictors of Male Delinquency: A Review.
Psychological Bulletin, 94, 69-99.
Mishna, F. (2003). Learning disabilities and bullying: Double jeopardy. Journal of Learning
Disabilities, 36(4), 336-347.

68

Nansel, T. R., Overpeck, M., Haynie, D. L., Ruan, W. J., & Scheidt, P. C. (2003). Relationships
between bullying and violence among US youth. Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine,
157, 348-353.
Nansel, T. R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R. S., Ruan, W. J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001).
Bullying behaviors among U.S. youth: prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment.
Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(16), 2094-2100.
Nolin, M. J., Davies, E., & Chandler, K. (1995). Student victimization at school. National Center
for Education Statistics3/4Statistics in Brief (NCES 95-204).
Olweus, D. (1993b). Victimization by Peers: Antecedents and Long-term Consequences. In K.H.
Rubin and J.B. Asendorf (eds.), Social Withdrawal, Inhibition and Shyness in Childhood.
Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.
Patterson, G.R., DeBaryshe, B.D. and Ramsey, E. (1989). A Developmental Perspective on
Antisocial Behaviour. American Psychologist, 44, 329-35.
Pellegrini, A. D., Bartini, M., & Brooks, F. (1999). School bullies, victims, and aggressive
victims: Factors relating to group affiliation and victimization in early adolescence. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 91(2), 216-224.
Rigby, K. (2000). Effects of peer victimization in schools and perceived social support on
adolescent well-being. Journal of Adolescence, 23, 57-68.
Skiba, R. J. (2000). Zero tolerance, zero evidence. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana Education
Policy Center (Policy Research Report SRS2).
Taylor, K.R. (2010). Misplaced Blame? (A discussion of whether school officials or districts can
be held liable for student suicides). Principal Leadership, 10(7) 8-10.
Whitney, I., & Smith, P. K. (1993). A survey of the nature and extent of bullying in
junior/middle and secondary schools. Educational Research, 35(1), 3-25.
Wang, J., Iannotti, R. J., & Nansel, T. R. (2009). School bullying among adolescents in the
United States: Physical, verbal, relational, and cyber. Journal of Adolescent Health, 45, 368-375.
Policy and Program Development
A tutorial on the New Jersey Department of Educations (NJDOE) regulations requiring all New
Jersey school districts to have developed, adopted and implemented a code of student conduct
http://cscd.rutgers.edu/page/codeofstudentconduct/
Dealing with Legal Matters Surrounding Students Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
http://www.nsba.org/MainMenu/SchoolHealth/SelectedNSBAPublications/SexualOrientationand
GenderIdentity/DealingwithLegalMattersSurroundingStudentsSexualOrientationandGenderIdent
ity.aspx.
69

NJDOE Code of Student Conduct Compliance Checklist


http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/codes/checklist.pdf
NJDOE Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Standards
http://www.nj.gov/education/aps/cccs/chpe/
NJDOE Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Compliance Checklist
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/checklist.pdf
NJDOE Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Power Point Presentations
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/overview.shtml
NJDOE Model Policy and Guidance for Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying on
School Property, at School-Sponsored Functions and on School Buses
http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/bully.htm
NJDOE Resources Supporting the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/#si
NJDOE Week of Respect and School Violence Awareness Week Resources
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/violence.shtml
Prevention and Intervention Strategies
Books
A School-Based Anti-violence Program. Sudermann, M., Jaffe, P., Schiek, E. et al. (1996).
London, ON: London Family Court Clinic.
Behavioral interventions in schools: A response-to-intervention guidebook. Hulac, D., Terrell, J.,
Vining, O., & Bernstein, J. (2011) New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group; US.
Blueprint for Violence Prevention Book 9, Bullying Prevention Program. United States
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.
The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School--How Parents and
Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle (Updated Edition). Coloroso, B. (2009) HarperCollins, New
York, NY.
Bullying Prevention and Intervention: Realistic Strategies for Schools (The Guilford Practical
Intervention in Schools Series) Swearer, S.M., Espelage, D.L., Napolitano, S.A. (2009). The
Guilford Press, New York, NY.
Bullying Prevention: Creating a Positive School Climate and Developing Social Competence,
Orpinas, P. and Horne, A.M. (2005). American Psychological Association.

70

The Bullying Prevention Handbook: A Guide for Principals, Teachers and Counselors. Hoover,
J.H. and Oliver, R. 1996. National Educational Service, Bloomington, IN.
Bully proof: A Teachers Guide to Teasing and Bullying for Use with Fourth and Fifth Grade
Students. Sjostrom, Lisa, & Stein, Nan. (1996). Boston, MA: Wellesley College Center for
Research on Women and the NEA Professional Library.
Keys to Dealing With Bullies (Barron's Parenting Keys). Barry Edwards McNamara, Francine
McNamara (Contributor). Keys Hauppauge, N.Y. : Barron's Educational Series, 1997.
Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime: A Guide for Schools. United States
Department of Education. 1999.
Understanding Girl Bullying and What to Do About It: Strategies to Help Heal the Divide.
Field, J.E., Kolbert, J.B., Crothers, L.M. and Hughes, T.L. (2009). Corwin, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Articles
Ahmed E, Brathwaite V. Forgiveness, reconciliation, and shame: Three key variables in reducing
school bullying. Journal of Social Issues (2006) 62(2):347370.
Allen, K.P. (2010). A bullying intervention system: Reducing risk and creating support for
aggressive students. Preventing School Failure, 54(3), 1999-209.
Beale, A. V., & Hall, K. R. (2007). Cyberbullying: What school administrators (and parents) can
do. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 81(1), 812.
Biegel, S. and Kuehl, S.J. (2010) Safe at School: Addressing the School Environment and LGBT
Safety through Policy and Legislation. National Education Policy Center.
Bradshaw, C.P., and Waasdorp, T.E. (2009). Measuring and changing a culture of bullying.
School Psychology Review, 38(3), 356-361.
Bray, L., Lee, C. (2007) Moving away from a culture of blame to that of support-based
approaches to bullying in schools. Pastoral Care in Education, 25(4),60.
Brewster, C. & Railsback, J. (2001). Schoolwide Prevention of Bullying. By Request Series.
Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Lab.
Chibbaro, J.S. (2007). School counselors and the cyberbully: Interventions and implications.
Professional School Counseling, 11(1), 65-68.
Davis, S. (2005). Schools Where Everyone Belongs: Practical Strategies for Reducing Bullying.
Champaign, IL, USA, Research Press.

71

Elias, M. J., & Zins, J. (2003). Bullying, peer harassment, and victimization in schools: The next
generation of prevention. Journal of Applied School Psychology [Special Issue], Winter
2003/2004.
Espelage, D. L., & Swearer, S. M. (2003). Bullying prevention and intervention: Integrating
research and evaluation findings. School Psychology Review [Special Issue].
Geffner, R., & Loring, M. T. (2001). Intervention, research and theories of psychological,
maltreatment, trauma, and nonphysical aggression. Journal of Emotional Abuse [Special Issue],
2 (2/3).
Flynt, S. W. & Morton, R. C. (2007). Bullying prevention and students with disabilities. National
Forum of Special Education Journal, 19(1), 1-6.
Larson, J., Smith, D.C., & Furlong, M.J. (2002). Best practices in school violence prevention. In
A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best Practices in School Psychology IV (pp 1081-1097).
Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
U. S. Department of Education. (1998). Preventing Bullying: A Manual for Schools and
Communities. Washington, DC: author.
Limber, S. P. (2002). Addressing youth bullying behaviors. Proceedings from the American
Medical Association Educational Forum on Adolescent Health: Youth Bullying. Chicago, IL:
American Medical Association. Retrieved from http://www.amaassn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/39/youthbullying.pdf (PDF, 48 Pages)
McCoy, E. What to Do... When Kids Are Mean to Your Child (What to Do Parenting Guides,
Vol. 1). Pleasantville, N.Y. : Reader's Digest, c1997. 96 p. : col. ill. ; 21 cm.
Mishna, F. (2008). An overview of the evidence on bullying prevention and intervention
programs. Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention 8: 327-341.
Perkins, D.F. and Berrena, E, (2002). BULLYING. What Parents Can Do About It. Penn State
College of Agricultural Sciences Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension
Ross, S. W. (2010). Bully Prevention in Positive Behavior Support. Dissertation Abstracts
International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol.70 (9-A), 2010, pp. 3415.
Skiba, R. and Fontanini, A. (2000) Bullying prevention: what works in preventing school
violence. Safe & Responsive Schools. Retrieved August 6, 2010:
http://eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED470431.pdf
Smith, P. K., & Brian, P. F. (2000). Bullying in the Schools. Aggressive Behavior, 26 (1).

72

Stroud, S., (2009). Fight Fire with Fire. T.H.E. Journal, 36(9) 29-30. School districts are
turning the tables against cyberbullies, using technology to flush out and crack down on online
harassment. http://thejournal.com/articles/2009/10/01/cyberbullying.aspx?sc_lang=en
Sugai, G., Horner, R. H., Dunlap, G., Hieneman, M., Lewis, T. J., Nelson, C.M., Scott, T.,
Liaupsin, C., Sailor, W., Turnbull, A. P., Turnbull, H. R., & Wickham, D. (2000). Applying
positive behavior support and functional behavior assessment in schools. Journal of Positive
Behavior Interventions, 2, 131-143.
Swearer, S.M., Espelage, D.L., Vaillancourt, T., and Hymel,S., What Can Be Done About
School Bullying? Linking Research to Educational Practice, Educational Researcher. Jan/Feb
2010.
Whitted, K. S., & Dupper, D. R. (2005). Best practices for preventing or reducing bullying in
schools. Children and Schools, 27, 167 175.
Assessment
Aggressive Behavior Teacher Checklist (Dodge & Coie, 1987)
The Aggressive Behavior - Teacher Checklist consists of 6 statements which measure a child's
aggressive behavior, i.e., using physical force and/or threatening others. Teachers are instructed
to mark the response that best applies to a particular child. Ages 6-12, Grades 1-6.
From: The Violence Institute of New Jersey at UMDNJ, Searchable Inventory of Instruments
Assessing Violent Behavior and Related Constructs in Children and Adolescents
To acquire checklist, contact
Dr. Kenneth A. Dodge at 919-613-7319 or email dodge@duke.edu
Bully/Victim Questionnaire (BVQ; Olweus, 1986, 1996)
The Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire is filled out anonymously by students in a
classroom. It consists of 40 questions for the measurement of bully/victim problems, such as
exposure to various physical, verbal, indirect, racial, or sexual forms of bullying/harassment,
various forms of bullying other students, where the bullying occurs, pro-bully and pro-victim
attitudes, and the extent to which the social environment (i.e., teachers, peers, parents) is
informed about and reacts to the bullying. Age range- 8-16 yrs., Grade range- 3rd-10th.
From http://vinst.umdnj.edu/VAID/TestReport.asp?Code=ROBVQ
To acquire questionnaire, contact Dr. Dan Olweus at dan.olweus@psych.uib.no
Bullying-Behaviour Scale (Austin and Joseph, 1996)
The BBC consists of six forced-choice items, three representations of negative physical actions
and three depictions of negative verbal actions. Internal consistency reliability of the BBC was
satisfactory, and boys were found to score higher than girls on this measure, suggesting that
analyses should be conducted separately for boys and girls. This instrument does not measure
relational victimization, which is a weakness of the measure. However, the authors believe that
the Social Acceptance subscale of the SPPC can indirectly assess this domain. No validity data
are reported for the BBC. Hence, further research is necessary, particularly in regard to this
instrument's concurrent validity with self, peer, and teacher reports.

73

From: Assessment of bullying: a review of methods and instruments.(Assessment & Diagnosis),


Journal of Counseling and Development.
To acquire scale, contact
Dr. Stephen Joseph at:
Phone: 44 0 2476 528182
S.Joseph@warwick.ac.uk
The Comprehensive School Climate Inventory, National School Climate Center
The CSCI measures twelve essential dimensions of a healthy school climate in four broad
categories: safety, teaching and learning, interpersonal relationships, and the institutional
environment as well as two distinct dimensions for personnel only.
http://www.schoolclimate.org/programs/csci-cost.php
Measuring Bullying Victimization, Perpetration, and Bystander Experiences: A Compendium of
Assessment Tools is a publication of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Centers for Disease Control
This compendium provides researchers, prevention specialists, and health educators with 33
tools to measure a range of bullying experiences: bully perpetration, bully victimization, bullyvictim experiences, and bystander experiences.
http://www.stopbullying.gov/community/tip_sheets/assessment_tools.pdf
Measuring Student Engagement in Upper Elementary Through High School: A Description of 21
Instruments, Institute for Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and
Regional Assistance
This report reviews the characteristics of 21 instruments that measure student engagement in
upper elementary through high school. It summarizes what each instrument measures, describes
its purposes and uses, and provides technical information on its psychometric properties.
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/southeast/pdf/REL_2011098_sum.pdf
Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes, Behaviors, and Influences Among Youths: A
Compendium of Assessment Tools, The Centers for Disease Control
This compendium provides researchers and prevention specialists with a set of tools to assess
violence-related beliefs, behaviors, and influences, as well as to evaluate programs to prevent
youth violence.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/measure.htm
Peer Nomination Instrument (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995)
The Peer Nomination Instrument assesses relational and overt aggression, and has been used to
identify aggressive children in the classroom. The instrument consists of 19 items, including four
subscales designed to assess social behavior. Children are given a class roster and must select up
to three classmates who fit the description in each item, such as "children who say mean things
to other kids," or "children who say and do nice things for others." Items assess relational
aggression, overt aggression, pro-social behavior and isolation. Ages 9 -12, Grades 3-6.
Description From: The Violence Institute of New Jersey at UMDNJ, Searchable Inventory of
Instruments Assessing Violent Behavior and Related Constructs in Children and Adolescents
To acquire instrument, contact Dr. Nicki R. Crick, at (612) 624-3347 or email
crick001@umn.edu

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Peer-Preferred Social Behavior Subscale of the Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence


and School Adjustment (Walker & McConnel, 1995)
Focuses on assessing peer-preferred social competencies. Contains positively worded items that
reflect adaptive social-behavioral competencies within the school environment. It is highly
relevant for assessing social skills in educational settings.
Elementary version, grades K-6.
Adolescent version, grades 7-12.
From: Assessment of Childrens Social Skills: Recent Developments, best Practices, and New
Directions, by Kenneth W. Merrell, in EXCEPTIONALITY, 9(1&2), 318
Can be acquired at http://www.goodreads.com/
Peer Relations Questionnaire (PRQ; Rigby and Slee, 1993) and the Peer Relations Assessment
Questionnaire (PRAQ; Rigby, 1997)
PRQ:
This was devised by Drs. Rigby and Slee in 1993. It is a comprehensive research questionnaire
suitable for students aged 8 to 18 years, takes approximately 30 minutes to complete, and focuses
mainly on bullying. Because of its length and complexity, computer based analyses are needed to
obtain comprehensive results.
PRAQ:
These questionnaires are shorter and of more practical value for schools wishing to examine the
nature of students peer relations in their school. The package includes questionnaires for
students, teachers and parents.
From: http://www.kenrigby.net/
Click on: Useful questionnaires on left side of page
Click on the underlined link in the paragraph that comes up
Determine which form is appropriate for your school
Contact Dr Rigby to obtain this form at 08 83021371 or email ken.rigby@unisa.edu.au
Short version at: http://www.kenrigby.net/prq-child.pdf
School Climate Bullying Survey (SCBS) (Cornell & Sheras, 2003)
The School Climate Bullying Survey (Cornell & Sheras, 2003) is a self-report survey used to
measure attitudes and behaviors associated with school bullying. It has three school climate
scales: Prevalence of Teasing and Bullying, Aggressive Attitudes, and Willingness to Seek Help.
It measures the level of bullying and teasing at school as well as other key features of school
climate, such as how willing students are to seek help for a threat of violence. These scales are
reliable across gender and age groups, and are predictive of several indicators of school disorder.
The SCBS was designed to assess the nature and prevalence of bullying at school and to measure
specific aspects of school climate that could guide bullying prevention efforts.
From: Validity of Three School Climate Scales to Assess Bullying, Aggressive Attitudes, and
Help Seeking
School Psychology Review, Sep 2009 by Bandyopadhyay, Sharmila, Cornell, Dewey G, Konold,
Timothy R
To acquire, contact the Virginia Youth Violence Project at: edh-yvp@cms.mail.virginia.edu
The Student Experience Survey: what school is like for me (Frey, et. al., 2005)

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The Student Experience Survey (Attitude Scales) is a 21-item instrument for third- through sixthgrade students designed to assess perceptions and attitudes related to bullying. Students are asked
about perceptions of bullying or aggressive behavior, assertiveness skills, and their own and
adults responsiveness to bullying. The survey can be used as a pre/post measure to evaluate
effects of the Steps to Respect program. The survey is administered in classrooms and takes 15
20 minutes to complete.
From: http://www.cfchildren.org/media/files/StR%20Student%20Experience%20Survey.pdf
SurveyMonkey
A dedicated page for a do-it-yourself survey tool for bullying detection, which includes a 10question survey that students can adopt in order to distribute and disseminate via email, on fliers,
through Facebook, and elsewhere. The application is free to use.
www.surveymonkey.com/bullying
Surveys Conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, including the Crime and
Safety Survey, Schools and Staffing Survey, and several longitudinal education surveys
This is a list of surveys and studies available through the National Center for Education
Statistics.
http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/surveygroups.asp?group=1
Evidence-Based Program Databases
Blueprints for Violence Prevention
http://ibs.colorado.edu/cspv/blueprintsquery/
National Registry of Evidence-based Programs (NREPP)
http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice
http://www.dsgonline.com/mpg2.5/mpg_index.htm
Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools Expert Panel, United States Department of Education
http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/exemplary01/panel.html
Preventing Drug Abuse Among Children and Adolescents: A Research-based Guide for Parents,
Educators and Community Leaders, National Institute on Drug Abuse
http://www.drugabuse.gov/pdf/prevention/RedBook.pdf
Safe and Sound: An Educational Leaders Guide to Evidence-Based Social and Emotional
Learning (SEL) Programs, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning
http://www.casel.org/downloads/Safe%20and%20Sound/1A_Safe_&_Sound.pdf
What Works Clearinghouse
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/
State and National Online Resources
Cyberbullying Research Center
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http://www.cyberbullying.us/
Education Northwest
http://educationnorthwest.org/
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
http://www.fightcrime.org/
Garden State Equality
http://www.gardenstateequality.org/
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)
http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.html
National Center for School Engagement
http://www.schoolengagement.org/
New Jersey Association of School Administrators
http://www.njasa.com
New Jersey Association of School Resource Officers
http://www.njasro.org
New Jersey Association of School Psychologists
http://www.njasp.org
New Jersey Association of School Social Workers
http://www.njassw.org
New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention
http://www.njbullying.org
New Jersey Department of Education, Keeping Our Kids, Safe, Healthy and in School
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/
http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/
New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Division on Civil Rights
http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/index.html
New Jersey Education Association
http://www.njea.org
New Jersey Parent-Teacher Association
http://www.njpta.org
New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association
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http://www.njpsa.org
New Jersey School Boards Association
http://njsba.com
New Jersey School Counselors Association
http://www.njsca.org
New Jersey State Police
http://www.njsp.org/
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2
Stop Bullying.Gov
http://www.bullyinginfo.org
United States Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences, National Center for
Educational Statistics
http://nces.ed.gov/
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osdfs/index.html?src=oc
U.S. Department of Justice, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section
http://www.cybercrime.gov
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Gang Center
http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov
Other Resources
American Federation of Teachers: http://www.aft.org/
- See a Bully, Stop a Bully, Make a Difference Campaign
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/
- A revamped multimedia Safety Center to incorporate multimedia, external resources from
renowned experts, and downloadable information for teens.
- A new Social Reporting system to enable people to report content that violates Facebook
policies so that it can be removed as soon as possible, while notifying parents or teachers of
the content so that the reasons for its posting can be addressed.

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The Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention - Eight federal agencies (Departments of Education,
Health and Human Services, Justice, Defense, Agriculture, and Interior, the National Council on
Disability and the Federal Trade Commission) joined together to establish the Federal Partners in
Bullying Prevention Steering Committee to focus on the following activities:
- StopBullying.gov: Provides information from various government agencies on how children,
teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop
bullying.
- Enforcing Civil Rights Laws: The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has
issued guidance as a Dear Colleague letter to clarify issues of bullying and violation of
federal education anti-discrimination laws.
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201010.pdf
- Shaping State Laws and Policies: The U.S. Secretary of Education has issued a memo to
Governors and Chief State School Officers in each state providing technical assistance and
outlining key components of comprehensive and effective state anti-bullying laws and
policies. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/secletter/101215.html
National Association of Student Councils: http://www.nasc.us/
- Raising Student Voice and Participation Bullying Challenge (RSVP) Process
National Education Association: http://www.nea.org/
- Bully-Free: It Starts with Me Campaign
- Nationwide Study of Bullying: Teachers and Education Support Professionals Perspectives
National Parents and Teachers Association: http://www.pta.org/bullying.asp
- Connect for Respect Campaign
National School Boards Association:
http://us.vocuspr.com/Newsroom/MultiQuery.aspx?SiteName=NSBANew&Entity=PRAsset;PR
Asset&PublishType=Press+Release;Newsroom+Page&XSL=Welcome&Title=Newsroom&Cac
he=&SF_PRAssetUDF_UDF20618=1&PubTypeFilterList=1;0
- Students on Board for Bullying Prevention
New Jersey State Bar Foundation, Teasing and Bullying Program:
http://www.njsbf.org/educators-and-students/programs.html
Princeton Center for Leadership Training:
http://www.princetonleadership.org/

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